Real Estate Millennials-How Will They Find Us?

Real Estate and the Millennials- How will they find us? By Rick Guthrie Thanks for returning back to my blog on Real Estate and the Millennials. Today it’s about, “How Will They Find Us”? Studying our new largest generation, the Millennials, has become a real passion of mine. Not just for helping with real estate […]

Real Estate and the Millennials- How will they find us?

By Rick Guthrie

Thanks for returning back to my blog on Real Estate and the Millennials. Today it’s about, “How Will They Find Us”?

Studying our new largest generation, the Millennials, has become a real passion of mine. Not just for helping with real estate careers here in Fairfax County, but for basically general knowledge. As with anything, our assumptions about others might not be accurate. Being a baby boomer and the parent of millennials, I felt that I knew what made the millennial generation tick. I thought that I knew all I needed to know. I must admit that I had some insight but most of my assumptions so far have been wrong.

I think back on how many times I’ve said, “kids of this generation know everything just ask ‘em, they’ll tell you”. I’m sure you’ve heard that too. The fact is…. they kind of do. Information is always at their fingertips and they will research that information at the drop of a hat if needed. The majority of my generation, in all humility, was researched challenged. Unless Mom and Dad fell prey to the Encyclopedia Britannica sales person or you had a good handle on the Dewey Decimal System, information was not easily forth coming. So for the most part, information came from the media and had a certain amount of subjection and or opinion. So we can assume, especially with the media inaccuracies of late, this practice doesn’t hold up for Millennials most of the time. I actually believe that they enjoy watching us banter over inaccurate information.

So what’s the point? The point is if we want to understand the Millennials we need to research Millennial how will they find usCharacteristics. The problem that I’ve had is researching very subjective and opinionated views. Sound familiar? Yep back to my old Boomer ways. So I’ve decided to actually survey the Millennials themselves. I’m not only surveying one on one but also in virtual surveys like Survey Monkey. Of course I’m trying to determine how to best meet the needs of my future millennial real estate clients but also attract millennial talent for careers in real estate.

My first research ah ha was from a conversation I had with my favorite millennial, my son. Now his occupation is in a tech related field and he is actually working towards his first home. My immediate assumption was that he would be virtually driven in his search for a real estate professional. Check this out.

          Question: I’d like to hear your thoughts and quote you in my blog. If I wasn’t your Dad and you wanted help with your home search, what would you be looking for from a real estate professional? What value proposition would spark you to use me?

          Answer: That’s a really tough question. I don’t know if I’d be the best person to ask, since I do tend to differ a bit from some millennials, but ultimately it’s going to come down to this. If someone I know, knows you and spoke highly of you or recommended you. As a first time home buyer, I have no expectations. I don’t know what’s typical and what I should be looking for. So I’m going to start asking people around me that I know if they have any suggestions and more likely than not, whoever’s name they throw out is going to be who I’m going to go to first. I might google that person’s name and see if anyone has said anything negative about that realtor, but if I don’t find anything they’ll be my first choice.

Isn’t that cool! We don’t need to change our mindset on relationships. Still our number one method of lead generation is asking for referrals. He didn’t say, “I’d go to the internet to get help”. Or, “I wish you guys had a robotic showing assistant”. Or, “I’d look at 3D floorplans”. He said he’d ask for personal recommendations. It’s still about that personal touch. I believe that’s going to be #1 in the real estate equation for a long, long time. Recommendations, referrals and relationships are how the Millennials will find us.

Wait till you hear what he said about contemplating a career in real estate. But that’s for next time.
Hey comment and give me your thoughts. Blog ‘ya soon.

Winterizing Your Real-estate Business, Expired Listings

Winterizing Your Real-estate Business #4. Expired Listings: by Rick Guthrie Thanks for coming back to my series on, “Winterizing your real estate Business”. As you remember from our last blog, I blogged about holding 2 opens a week. Today we’re going Winterize by focusing on Expired Listings. I’ve found a common pattern or strategy in […]

Winterizing Your Real-estate Business #4.

Expired Listings: by Rick Guthrie

Thanks for coming back to my series on, “Winterizing your real estate Business. As you remember from our last blog, I blogged about holding 2 opens a week.

Today we’re going Winterize by focusing on Expired Listings.

expired listings

I’ve found a common pattern or strategy in the mindset of a seller is they seem to list around the Holidays. What I mean to say is, that a greater percentage of sellers will purposely have their listing contract expire around the holidays. Their thought is that if their home doesn’t sell before the holidays, they’ll just simply take it off the market and try again in the spring or hirer someone different to get the job done. Now of course people, who have to move, will still have the motivation to get their home sold and will need to relist. However, what’s on their mind is, should I relist with the agent who didn’t get the job done the first time or should I look for a fresh approach?

If you’ve been in the business for any amount of time, you’ll know the reason the home didn’t sell is most likely price. Actually, not most likely, it is price. You coming in as the pinch hitter or second choice gives you the opportunity to price the home properly this time. You’ll get it listed with less pricing objections. If you focus on the expired listing, in your winterization strategy, you’ll find some great opportunities. Here’s what I’ve done that’s worked well for me.

  1. Develop a Great Expired Packet
  2. Set my MLS to Search for New Expired Listings Daily
  3. Drop Off Expired Packets Daily
  4. Follow Up With a Phone Call

Develop a Great Expired Packet – You want to make an expired packet eye catching but very generic. I kept about twenty in my car at all times. That way I could drop of several on my way to the office. The cover of my bound packet said in big letters “Do You Know Your Home May be currently off the Market”? The reason I did this is that some agents don’t keep up with their listings like they should and one will expire without their knowledge. Bad news for the seller but good news for you when you bring it to the seller’s attention. This usually leads to an appointment. The content of the packet should be information about you and also your value proposition for sellers. Testimonials are great here too!

CAUTION: Too much information might have a negative effect. The seller could make conclusions about your marketing and services without meeting you. CLOSE TO AN APPOINTMENT!

Set my MLS to Search for New Expired Listings Daily – Three things I did every morning. Got up early, had my coffee and checked for expired listings. I always wanted to get the jump on anyone else. I pulled them up, searched the address on the MLS to make sure they had not been relisted, plan a route to drop off packets and got phone numbers if I could. Too Easy!

Drop Off Expired Packets Daily – I basically door knocked and dropped off packets in the morning. You’d be surprised at how many people are at home in the morning. I found putting a packet in their hand and asking for an appointment gave me a higher conversation rate than just a phone call. If they were not at home, I would leave the packet and follow up with a phone call or another pop by.

HINT: Roll the packet up and put it in the handle of their garage door. People rarely go in through their front door anymore.

Follow Up With a Phone Call: Always follow up with a call to make sure they got the packet. There are companies that phone lists for expired listings. I guess the key is you’re on the clock. You have to get to them quickly so don’t waste a lot of time.

These are some key elements I used to stay in front of sellers whose listing agreement had expired with their former agent. Remember that good memorized scripts and dialogues for expireds are a must. So take this opportunity to make expired listings one of your tools to winterize your real estate business.

“You have a Great Month Today”

Winterizing Your Real-estate Business, Hold Two Open Houses per Week

Winterizing your Real-estate Business #3 – Hold Two Open Houses per Week by Rick Guthrie Thanks for coming back to my blog series on winterizing your real estate business. Today’s blog is strategy number three, hold two opens per week. Now of course were talking about two open houses per week. Typically we’ll see agents […]

Winterizing your Real-estate Business #3 – Hold Two Open Houses per Week

by Rick Guthrie

Thanks for coming back to my blog series on winterizing your real estate business. Today’s blog is strategy number three, hold two opens per week. Now of course were talking about two open houses per week. Typically we’ll see agents hold two open houses per month. Remember we’re going to, at least, double our efforts. Holding two open houses per week certainly does that. It’s not surprising that holding homes open is quite prosperous and a successful way to lead generate. To increase our open house results, we need to increase our frequency in holding open houses. My recommendation is that you hold a minimum of two per week. Consistency is the key here. Make a conscious effort to commit, plan, strategize and implement, which leads to holding two open houses each and every week until spring.

I want to make you aware of three myths surrounding open houses.

Myth Number 1: You can only hold homes open on the weekends.

Myth Number 2: You can only hold one open house per day.

Myth Number 3: Buyers are the only ones that attend open houses.

Let’s start with Myth Number 1: “You can only hold homes open on the weekend”. The question that I would ask is, “do you think you would be positioned better to get more traffic from an open house if there were more homes being held open in a day or less homes being held open? The answer of course is you would get more traffic if there were less competition from other homes being held open. That’s why an open house during the week is very strategic to get you more traffic. Also, you will find people are available and will attend open houses that are held during the week. In Northern Virginia there are several large companies that allow their employees to work from home on Mondays and/or Fridays to cut down on commuter traffic. These would be two great days to hold opens. Also, the military allows their newly transferred members 10 days of permissive TDY (temporary duty) to house hunt. Try a couple of opens during the week.

Myth Number 2: “You can only hold one open house per day.” I’ve found that the majority of people attend open houses within the last 30 minutes of the home being held open. So if you hold a home open from 1 to 4 the majority of your attendees show up at 3:30. So why not hold one open from 1 to 2, take a short break, then hold a different home open from 3 to 4. Make sure you invite attendees from your first open house to your second. Wow, they can actually follow you over! This is a great way to rapport build and to ensure maximum traffic in both homes as well as make the best use of your time. The second open house may be a great place to have refreshments so you can spend more time with potential clients. Make sure you tell the folks from the first to show up at the second because you’re having refreshments.

Finally Myth Number 3: “Buyers are the only ones that attend open houses.” This is just simply not always the case. It’s so important to learn your scripts and dialogs and ask the right questions as people walk through the door of your open house. I have found a good greeting to start off with may sound like this; “What brings you folks out today?” You may hear, “We just wanted to see the home” or you may hear, “We’re thinking about selling our home and we wanted to compare ours to this one”. Sometimes people are just looking for their friends and family. This provides you the opportunity to create another relationship and provides you with another database entry. Either way you have a future client. The important thing is that you ask questions, come from a point of curiosity and get that new contact in your database as well as help them in any way that you can.

In closing, we talked about how important it is to hold two open houses per week to increase your business through the winter time. We’ve also talked about the three myths commonly surrounding open houses.

Quick tip: Have your sellers really decorate for the holidays. Buyers can visualize themselves in a holiday home.

Thanks again for following my blog and as always you have a great month today.

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – Sept 22, 2014

Last week’s economic news largely concerned the Federal Reserve’s FOMC meeting statement and a post-meeting conference given by Fed Chair Janet Yellen. The FOMC statement indicated that the Fed continued its wind-down of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities and that its purchases are expected to cease after the next FOMC meeting.

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week Sept 22 2014Last week’s economic news largely concerned the Federal Reserve’s FOMC meeting statement and a post-meeting conference given by Fed Chair Janet Yellen. The FOMC statement indicated that the Fed continued its wind-down of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities and that its purchases are expected to cease after the next FOMC meeting.

The FOMC statement said that committee members find the economy to be improving at a moderate pace and currently strong enough to further reduce the QE3 monthly asset purchases. The Fed seeks to achieve and sustain its dual mandate of maximum employment and an inflation rate of 2.00 percent. While the unemployment rate is lower than the Fed’s benchmark of 6.50 percent, FOMC members cited concerns that the labor force is underutilized and that labor markets, while recovering, could use further improvement. The Fed repeated its customary statement that the Fed’s monetary policies are not on a pre-determined course, and that FOMC members continually review and interpret developing financial and economic news as part of their decision-making process.

Chair Yellen explained during her press conference that it is not possible to provide a specific date when the Fed will change its target federal funds rate. Economists and media analysts expressed concerns that raising the target federal funds rate, which is currently at 0.00 to 0.250 percent, could cause overall interest rates to rise. Chair Yellen said that she expects the current target federal funds rate to remain for a “considerable time” after the QE asset purchases cease. She also said that it is impossible to provide a specific date when the Fed will change its target federal funds rate and cited multiple influences considered by FOMC when changing monetary policy.

Home Builder Confidence Grows, Housing Starts Fall

The National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index rose by three points in September for a reading of 59. Analysts had predicted an index reading of 56 against August’s reading of 55. September’s reading was the third consecutive reading above 50. Stronger labor markets were cited as supporting the higher reading, but builders were also concerned by tight mortgage credit standards. Any reading above 50 indicates that more builders perceive market conditions for new homes as positive as those that do not.

August’s housing starts were inconsistent with the Home Builders Index; according to the Department of Commerce, construction of new homes fell by 14.4 percent from July’s reading to 956,000. Analysts expected 1.03 million starts against July’s reading of 1.12 million homes started.

Mortgage Rates Rise, Weekly Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported higher mortgage rates last week. Average mortgage rates rose across the board with the rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage 11 basis points higher at 4.23 percent. The rate for a 15-year mortgage also rose by 11 basis points to 3.37 percent and the rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage rose from 2.99 to 3.06 percent. Average discount points were unchanged for all mortgage types at 0.50 percent.

New weekly jobless claims dropped to 280,000 against an expected reading of 305,000 and the prior week’s adjusted reading of 316,000 new jobless claims. The original reading for the prior week was 315,000 new jobless claims. The less volatile four-week average of new jobless claim fell by 4,750 new claims to a reading of 299,500 new claims.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news brings multiple housing-related reports. The National Association of REALTORS® will release its Existing Home Sales report for August. Case-Shiller’s monthly Housing Market Index report and the FHFA’s Home Value report will bring new light to national market trends. The Department of Commerce will release its New Home Sales report, and as usual, Freddie Mac’s weekly report on mortgage rates will come out on Thursday. To see houses for sale in the Northern Virginia area please click here.

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – June 23, 2014

Last week’s scheduled economic news included the National Association of Home Builders Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, Housing Starts and Building Permits. The Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) issued its usual statement at the conclusion of its meeting, and Fed Chair Janet Yellen also gave a press conference.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week June 23 2014

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – June 23, 2014

Last week’s scheduled economic news included the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, Housing Starts and Building Permits. The Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) issued its usual statement at the conclusion of its meeting, and Fed Chair Janet Yellen also gave a press conference.

Home Builder Confidence Improves, but Housing Starts Slow

NAHB released its Housing Market Index report, which reached its highest reading in five months. The index moved up from 45 to 49; a reading of 50 indicates that more builders are confident about housing market conditions than those who are not. David Crowe, NAHB chief economist, said that builder confidence is in line with consumer confidence; he noted that consumers are waiting for a stronger economic recovery before buying homes and that builders didn’t want to build more homes than markets would bear.

According to the latest figures from the Department of Commerce, May housing starts fell to 1.00 million from April’s reading of 1.07 million on a seasonally adjusted annual basis, and missed the consensus reading of 1.02 million. Building permits issued in May fell by 6.40 percent to 991,000 permits issued for single and multi-family construction. In recent months, permits for single family homes have fallen, while permits for multi-family units are increasing. This concerns economists as single-family homes generate sales of retail goods including furniture and home improvement supplies, while multi-family housing is often occupied by renters and yields fewer home related purchases.

Warmer weather was expected to add to the pace of housing starts, but this did not occur during May.

Fed Reduces Asset Purchases, Mortgage Rates

FOMC members reduced the Fed’s monthly asset purchases by $10 billion, for a monthly volume of $35 billion in Treasury securities and MBS. The meeting minutes noted FOMC concerns that inflation has not yet reached the committee’s benchmark of 2.00 percent inflation as a benchmark of economic recovery.

The minutes reflected FOMC’s position that it will maintain the target federal funds rate at between 0.00 and 0.25 percent for a considerable period after the asset purchases under the current quantitative easing program have ended. While analysts previously associated “considerable period” with a time frame of six months, Fed Chair Yellen stated during her press conference that there was no formula for determining the Fed’s actions; she emphasized that the Fed and FOMC would monitor a wide range of economic indicators, economic reports and developments in support of any decisions to change current monetary policy.

In response to a question about tight credit, Chair Yellen cited banks’ reluctance to lend to all but those with “pristine” credit scores as a factor contributing to slower recovery in the housing sector.

Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims

Freddie Mac reported lower mortgage rates on Thursday. The reading for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 4.17 percent, a decline of three basis points. Discount points were also lower at 0.50 percent. The average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage was lower by one basis point at 3.30 percent; discount points were unchanged at 0.50 percent. The average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage fell to 3.00 percent from last week’s reading of 3.05 percent. Discount points were unchanged at 0.40 percent.

New jobless claims were higher than expected at 312,000; analysts had predicted a reading of 310,000 against the prior week’s reading of 318,000 new jobless claims.

No economic reports were released Friday.

What’s Ahead

This week’s economic calendar includes several housing-related reports. Existing home sales, the Case-Shiller Housing Market Index and New Home Sales will be released along with multiple consumer-related reports and weekly updates for mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – June 9, 2014

Last week’s economic news was mixed. Construction spending grew, but fell below the expected level. CoreLogic reported that April home prices continued to rise, but did so at their slowest growth rate in more than a year. Employment reports for private sector and government jobs indicated fewer jobs, but the national unemployment rate was steady.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – June 9, 2014

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – June 9, 2014

By: Rick Guthrie

Last week’s economic news was mixed. Construction spending grew, but fell below the expected level. CoreLogic reported that April home prices continued to rise, but did so at their slowest growth rate in more than a year. Employment reports for private sector and government jobs indicated fewer jobs, but the national unemployment rate was steady. Here are the details:

Construction Spending, Home Price Growth Slows

Construction spending reported by the Department of Commerce reached $953.5 billion annually, and increased by 0.20 percent month-to-month against expectations of an 0.80 percent increase and the March reading of 0.60 percent growth.

According to CoreLogic, the rate of home price growth slowed to 10.50 percent year-over-year in April as compared to the 11.10 year-over-year rate of increase in April 2013. Home prices increased by 2.10 percent over March; these gains in home prices were the slowest posted in more than a year, but there was good news.

No states posted a drop in home prices, and eight states posted new record highs for home prices.

CoreLogic said that although a short supply of available homes has driven home prices up, price gains lost momentum due to affordability; CoreLogic expects home prices to increase at a slower pace and projects that home price growth will reach a pace of 6.30 percent by April 2015.

Mortgage Rates Mixed

Freddie Mac reported that mortgage rates for fixed rate mortgages rose while the average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage fell. The average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage increased by two basis points to 4.14 percent; discount points fell to an average of 0.50 percent. The average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage also increased by two basis points to 3.23 percent; discount points were unchanged at 0.50 percent. Rates for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage averaged 2.93 percent, a drop of three basis points. Average discount points rose from 0.30 to 0.40 percent.

Jobs, Unemployment Data Suggest Economic Strength

Labor markets impact consumer decisions to buy homes; several labor-related reports released last week indicated that the economy continued to gain strength as more jobs were added and fewer workers filed jobless claims.

ADP reported that 179,000 private-sector jobs were added in May as compared to 215,000 jobs added in April. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Non-farm Payrolls report for May; 217,000 jobs were added as compared to projections of 210,000 jobs added and 288,000 jobs added in April.

New weekly jobless claims were reported at 312,000 as compared to expectations of 311,000 new jobless claims and the previous week’s 304,000 new claims. The four-week rolling average of weekly jobless claims fell by 2250 new claims to 310,250; this was the lowest reading since June 2007, and was 10 percent lower than the reading for the same week in April 2013 and was 17 percent lower than for the same week in 2012.

Another sign of economic growth was reported last week. Continuing jobless claims dropped to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 2.60 million for the week ended May 24; this was the lowest reading reported since October 2007.

The national unemployment rate for May matched April’s reading of 6.30 percent, and was lower than projections of 6.40 percent for May. The Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve (FOMC) has repeatedly cited an unemployment rate of 6.50 percent as a benchmark indication of economic recovery; it appears likely that the Fed may continue its tapering of asset purchases as it winds down its quantitative easing program.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes Retail Sales, Retail Sales without vehicle sales, and the Producer Price Index. Freddie Mac mortgage rates and Weekly Jobless Claims will be released Thursday, and the University of Michigan will release its Consumer Sentiment Index on Friday.

Increasing May Jobs Report Shows Strengthening Economy

The U.S. Department of Labor released its Non-Farm Payrolls and National Unemployment Rate reports Friday showing 175,000 jobs were added in May, which surpassed expectations of 164,000 new jobs and April’s reading of 149,000 jobs added. The jobs added in May were largely from the private sector. However, the national unemployment rate for May was […]

jobs-in-focus-The U.S. Department of Labor released its Non-Farm Payrolls and National Unemployment Rate reports Friday showing 175,000 jobs were added in May, which surpassed expectations of 164,000 new jobs and April’s reading of 149,000 jobs added. The jobs added in May were largely from the private sector.

However, the national unemployment rate for May was 7.60 percent, one-tenth of a percent higher than expectations and the April reading of 7.50 percent. The rise was attributed to more people entering the workforce as opposed to people losing jobs.

420,000 workers joined the workforce in May, which pushed the civilian participation rate in the labor market to 63.4 percent; the highest participation rate since October 2012. A rising participation rate suggests that more workers believe they can find jobs and have joined or returned to the labor market.

Economists Pleased With Increasing Jobs In Difficult Environment

Economists were pleased to see jobs increasing against an environment of higher taxes, a soft global economy and budget cutbacks in the U.S. government.

A lingering issue for U.S. labor markets is the number of people looking for full time work, but who are unable to find full-time employment. When these workers are added to the ranks of the unemployed who are actively seeking work, the actual unemployment rate almost doubles to 13.8 percent for May.

The national unemployment rate is based on workers who are actively seeking work. Many U.S. workers stopped looking for work after years of unemployment.

Fed May Review Quantitative Easing Program Soon

These reports don’t provide a clear indication of what the Federal Reserve may do regarding its current monetary policy; the Fed is currently purchasing $85 billion a month in U.S. Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities (MBS). This effort is intended to keep long-term interest rates, including mortgage rates, lower.

The Fed has indicated that it will review its quantitative easing (QE) policy relative to improvements in the economy. In recent months, the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve (FOMC) has discussed lowering or eliminating its QE efforts, but so far is maintaining its current level of QE and maintaining the federal funds rate at 0.250 percent.

While housing markets are improving, the jobs sector is moving at a slower pace. This suggests that home prices could rise even faster if more consumers had sufficient income for buying a home.

NAHB Housing Market Index Ticks Upward

Spring is almost here, and the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index (NAHB HMI) thawed slightly in March.

NAHB Housing Market Index Ticks UpwardSpring is almost here, and the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index (NAHB HMI) thawed slightly in March.

The current reading of 47 is one point higher than for February, but still indicates pessimism among a majority of builders surveyed. Analysts expected a March reading of 50.

The gauge of builder confidence stayed near its lowest level since May.

March’s NAHB HMI reading remained below the benchmark reading of 50, which indicates that an equal number of builders are positive about housing market conditions as those who are negative.

A reading over 50 indicates that more builders are positive than negative. Last August the NAHB HMI reading reached 58, its highest level since 2005.

Kevin Kelly, NAHB’s chairman said that builder concerns included a lack of land available for development, the lagging effects of severe winter weather and labor shortages.

NAHB HMI Details Show Regional Variances

The NAHB HMI national reading is based on builders’ views of three aspects of housing markets. The March reading of 47 is based on three components. The reading for prospective buyer traffic in new home developments rose by two points to 33.

Builder expectations for present sales of single-family homes rose from 51 to 52. Builder confidence in home sales in coming months fell from a reading of 54 to 53.

Rising mortgage rates and home prices along with inconsistent labor markets influenced builder confidence concerning future home sales.

March Readings For Regional Home Builder Confidence Were Varied:

  • Northeast: March’s reading was five points lower at 29.
  • Midwest: Builder confidence gained three points in March for a reading of 52.
  • West: Builder confidence dropped by five points to a reading of 53.
  • South: March’s reading rose by two points to 48.

In related news, the Department of Commerce reported housing starts for February dropped to 907,000 as compared to January’s reading of 909,000 housing starts and expectations of 908,000 housing starts.

Building permits for February rose by 7.70 percent to their second highest level since the recession for a total of 1.02 million permits. The rise in building permits was attributed to construction plans for condominium complexes and rental units.