Portland Cement Association Announces Housing Starts Will Increase by 20 Percent in 2015

Residential housing starts will be on the increase in 2015, according to the Portland Cement Association (PCA). During the 2015 International Builders’ Show, PCA Chief Economist and Group Vice President Edward J. Sullivan announced that housing starts will increase 20 percent to 1.2 million units in 2015. This is up from roughly 950,000 units in 2014, and strong gains are also expected for 2016.

Multifamily units in particular should see a significant increase in starts compared to previous years with a 12 percent jump from 2014 levels. Nearly 400,000 multifamily starts are expected in 2015 in addition to 800,000 new units in the single-family market. The trend in multifamily construction is expected to persist throughout the forecast horizon as high student debt keeps millennials out of the new home market and baby boomers leave the market.

“The forecast is based on sustained strength in the labor markets with more than 3 million net new jobs created in both 2015 and 2016,” Sullivan says. “In addition, wage gains in the context of sub-6 percent unemployment are expected to reinforce labor market fundamentals.”

Sustained strength in job creation, coupled with a gradual shift in the mix of jobs toward higher skill and more significant wage pressures suggest added strength to consumer spending. Debt to household income now lies at an 18-year low. Consumer balance sheets have endured a healing period and with improvement in the labor markets will be more able to spend than they have been in quite some time.

GAF Gives Away $13,545 to a Lucky Builder During IBS

GAF has announced that Frank Thompson of Sweetwater Builders Inc. located in Cranberry, Pa., is the winner of its $13,545 giveaway held at the February 2014 International Builders Show in Las Vegas. All builders attending the show were eligible to be scanned at the GAF booth for entry into the contest.

Why $13,545? A recent survey of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, REALTOR appraisers estimated that GAF Timberline Lifetime Shingles can increase a home’s value by an average of 5 percent, compared to a roof using basic 3-tab shingles. With the average new home median price listed at $270,900 by the National Association of Home Builders as of November 2013, a 5 percent increase in home value from installing GAF Timberline Lifetime Shingles equates to $13,545

“With up to 40 percent or more of the curb appeal dominated by the roof, upgrading to a Timberline Lifetime shingle is a great way for a builder to differentiate their homes while increasing the value of the property,” states Emily Videtto, executive director of shingles and new product development at GAF.