In today’s news, we will look into the one builder is relieved to see a decline in the number of new homes being constructed. Meanwhile, in the construction industry, there are numerous significant construction projects now happening around the state of Maine. On top of that, innovative floor-lifting technology developed by LIFTbuild enables construction sites to function as fabrication factories.
One developer is glad new house construction is decreasing
Original Source: This developer is happy that new home construction is falling
Since mortgage rates average near 7%, more potential homeowners are struggling to finance homes.
The Mortgage Bankers Association reported a 28-year low in late February mortgage applications. Several of the nation’s largest homebuilders remain unfazed.
After a second-half 2022 dip, Howard Hughes Corp. CEO David O’Reilly told CNN that he’s “cautiously hopeful” that the residential housing market is recovering.
Before discussing Howard Hughes Corp. with O’Reilly (HHC). and market forecast.
Edited for clarity.
Housing market statistics are bleak. See anything?
O’Reilly: I see the headlines and clicks, but I don’t see the death and destruction we saw during the global financial crisis. I expect a mild dip. Initially, we need four to five million residences nationwide. Since the global financial crisis, we haven’t built enough homes. Most markets have near-record low home builder inventory.
Home prices are down, but we’re just reversing 2020 gains. We’re still profiting over average. Homebuilders buying down mortgage rates [contributing part of the purchase price upfront] are doing what they should to move inventory profitably.
Higher mortgage rates preventing new buyers?
Interest rate volatility affects homebuyers more than mortgage rates.
Buyers wait to see where interest rates settle when they move quickly. If the mortgage could be cheaper next month, nobody wants to lock in. Homebuilders have worked to reduce market volatility in recent months. Since rate increases have been consistent with predictions and mortgage rates have behaved properly, some of the volatility has come out naturally, but home builders are offering to lock in your rate at 4.99% or 5% for a year or two, removing some of the risk and uncertainty.
Even though the 5% rate is substantially higher than the 3% rate two years ago, it gives consumers confidence to act without rate volatility.
National home sales fell in the second half of 2022. All areas saw significant reductions. But, I’m cautiously optimistic. I’m encouraged by rising home sales.
What about new housing starts? Falling construction.
That’s good news for me. In the second half of 2022, new home sales cancellations increased. Home builders have a lot of inventory from cancellations.
They’re using up inventory since they’re selling more but building less. For the rest of the year, that’s good.
Jobs, Powell, and Biden: Investors’ focus this week As February jobs data is revealed this week, the labor market is the focus.
The stock market was shaken last month when 517,000 jobs were added to the US economy instead of 185,000. To calm the economy and inflation, investors want numbers to decrease. If they don’t, the Fed will be pressured to raise interest rates to control prices, which will cause market volatility.
ADP’s February private payroll data and JOLTS’ January job vacancies, hires, and quits report are due Wednesday. On Thursday, Challenger, Gray & Christmas will disclose February job cuts, and Friday comes the February US jobs report.
In February, analysts estimated 200,000 jobs and a 3.4% unemployment rate.
Chairman Jerome Powell will testify before the Senate on Tuesday and the House of Representatives on Wednesday. In his semi-annual report to Congress, Powell will likely emphasize that the Fed must take more action to lower inflation to 2%. Powell will be questioned by lawmakers about his efforts to chill the economy, which might hinder wage growth.
The next year’s federal budget plan from President Joe Biden is expected. Wall Street doesn’t like tax hikes for the wealthy, but he’s promised them. While the president’s budget proposal is just that, it will certainly shape Democratic policy initiatives for the year. That means we’ll undoubtedly hear more about raising capital gains taxes and taxes on controversial corporate stock buybacks, which also worry investors.
Amazon’s layoffs and Wall Street.
Two recent Amazon pronouncements appear to be bad for the corporation.
The corporation told CNN on Friday that it is halting building on its northern Virginia second headquarters. The pause was reported by Bloomberg.
John Schoettler, Amazon’s real estate executive, said the business is delaying the second-phase groundbreaking. In June, the first phase will open.
Two months after Amazon CEO Andy Jassy announced the company’s largest employee loss of 18,000, the company halted construction. As consumers change their behavior, Amazon is lowering expenses and hiring swiftly.
On Friday, Wall Street cheered. Amazon (AMZN) stock rose 3%.
When revenue declines and the economic outlook remains gloomy, investors want the corporation to cut costs. Jassy stated it during Amazon’s fourth quarter results release.
On Friday, Amazon announced the closure of eight cashier-less storefronts in Seattle, New York, and San Francisco.
Construction: Maine has major construction projects
Brewer’s Nickerson & O’Day Co. will build Acadia National Park’s new maintenance building. Construction will begin this spring and finish in fall 2024. The National Park Service awarded $32.6 million to demolish 20,000 square feet of structures. The new location will contain a 27,000-square-foot main building and outbuildings. Workshops, storage, equipment-support spaces, restrooms, locker rooms, offices, workspaces, breakrooms, conference rooms, utility support spaces, fuel station, car storage, employee/staff parking, and wash bays will be maintained. Susan Collins and Angus King claimed the Great American Outdoors Act provided funding.
Portland-based Optimal Construction Co. is building the Baxter Shelter for Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland. Westbrook’s Arthur P. Girard Adoption Center is nearby. Cordia Capital Projects financed.
Vertical Harvest and Day Brothers have built most of Westbrook’s 70,000-square-foot, multilevel urban greenhouse. Indoors, the plant will generate 2 million pounds of food for local distribution. Portland-based Harriman worked with Jackson, Wyo.-based GYDE Architects on the design. Westbook collaborated with Jackson, Wy.-based Vertical Harvest. Wright-Ryan Construction is developing a four-story parking garage nearby.
AP27 LLC, Sabattus’ Corporate Construction, and Platz Associates are building Judson’s Plaza, a 7,500-square-foot retail center in Sugarloaf. Skowhegan Savings funds construction.
Zachau Construction encased Wolfe’s Neck’s Smith Center for Education and Research in Freeport. Belfast-based Opal Architecture designed. Civil engineer Tom Fowler PE. Ann Kearsley Design landscaped. Bath Savings Bank lent. USDA funding was crucial.
Polish Provisions Café & General Shop has post-and-beam framing. Maine Community Bank financed. Berwick’s Preservation Timber Framing did the post-and-beam.
LIFTbuild’s innovative floor-lifting technology converts construction sites into fabrication factories
When finished this year, the Exchange building will be a mixed-use building. The 16-story building, one of the highest in Greektown, a thriving historic area near downtown Detroit, will have 165 apartments on a two-floor podium with retail and office space. The Exchange’s facade is mostly glass and metal paneling.
Nonetheless, its top-heavy design resembled El Lissitzky’s horizontal buildings from over a century earlier. Each floor was built on the ground before being hoisted onto the two concrete cores, making fabrication a show.
Yet, the $64 million project’s building method is impressive. Exchange is the first structure developed by LIFTbuild, a technology and construction services provider wholly owned by Barton Malow, a general contracting company founded nearly a century ago in Southfield and now with several offices nationwide. It was designed by Dearborn, Michigan-based architecture firm Ghafari Associates.
LIFTbuild was established in 2017 to enhance worker safety, construction deadlines, and other typical American construction industry challenges after nearly four years of research and development and 15 patents. Its integrated fabrication approach reduces timeframes, like the radical prefabricated skyscraper ideas of the 1960s Japanese Metabolist movement.
“We’re taking a series of activities that had traditionally been done in a serial manner and discovering where we could pull all of those activities in parallel,” LIFTbuild senior director Steve Houston told AN. Houston worked closely with local contractors and subcontractors who joined the project early “to aid with the learning curve of executing the job on the ground rather than at height” to solve logistical problems.
A fast-built 207-foot building resulted: Construction began in April and will finish this June. Houston said, “Unlike conventional methods, in which the building footprint is consumed with ground floor construction, the LIFTbuild technology allows us to continue to use this area, thereby producing ‘more room’ on our small site.”
LIFTbuild’s unique, top-down strategy allows it to efficiently schedule work around structural cores and coordinate with material suppliers to develop unitized assemblies for the building’s walls and MEP systems. Installed per floor. After building each floor plate, the assembly team lifts them six to eight feet to install mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, then uses a jacking mechanism to lift and lock each fully enclosed and weathertight floor. Interchange takes 9–10 days each floor. Houston continued, “These levels are also environmentally managed, which enables superior quality control for installed finishes. Despite an early January snowstorm, painters and other building finishers were able to finish the interiors.
One of the construction companies offering new safety and efficiency solutions is LIFTbuild. Alpin Innovation Labs and GAMMA AR have proposed using Augmented Reality (AR) devices to give construction workers “live” assembly instructions, while Texas-based ICON has proposed using 3D-printing technology to allow construction at the touch of a button.
Yet, few can go vertically. LIFTBuild claims its use of the construction site as a prefabrication zone has sped up multi story project building compared to US methods. Most hands-on building takes place on the ground, reducing on-site accidents. LIFTbuild’s methods can be used on many building types because they have almost no height constraints. It may even solve the severe American housing need by building two to six million homes nationwide, according to experts. Houston continued, “Now that Exchange is winding down, we’re focusing on other Midwest projects.”
Summary of today’s construction news
Overall, we discussed that due to the high average mortgage rate of over 7%, many would-be buyers are finding it difficult to save up the necessary money to purchase a property. Late in February, mortgage applications hit a 28-year low, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. A number of the top homebuilders in the country are unmoved.
On the other hand, some of the largest building projects in the state of Maine are listed here. The new maintenance facility for Acadia National Park will be constructed by Brewer’s Nickerson & O’Day Co. The building process will start this spring and end in the fall of 2024. Optimum Construction Co. of Portland, Oregon, is constructing the Baxter Shelter for the Animal Rescue League of Greater Portland. The majority of Westbrook’s 70,000 square foot multi-level urban greenhouse was constructed by Vertical Harvest and Day Brothers. The Sugarloaf retail development team of AP27 LLC, Sabattus’ Corporate Construction, and Platz Associates is hard at work on the 7,500 square foot Judson’s Plaza. In order to build, Skowhegan Savings has allocated monies.
Moreover, the Exchange will be a commercial and residential complex after construction is completed this year. One of the tallest structures in Greektown, a flourishing historic district near downtown Detroit, this 16-story building will include 165 apartments above a two-story platform with retail and office space. Most of the outside of the Exchange is made up of glass and metal panels. In spite of its hefty price tag of $64 million, the construction technique used to construct the project is remarkable. Exchange is the first building designed by LIFTbuild, a company completely owned by Barton Malow that specializes in providing technology and construction services.