Homebuilder confidence hits major milestone - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Real Estate

Homebuilder confidence hits major milestone

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Posted: Friday, August 9, 2013 6:32 am | Updated: 9:27 am, Mon Aug 25, 2014.

You might naturally assume that with the uptick in homebuilding activity across the country and the economy’s steady improvement, homebuilders everywhere would be jumping for joy. Not exactly.

In fact, a recently released report from the National Association of Home Builders illustrates the industry’s reluctance until now to fully embrace the optimism we’ve been feeling for some time in the West. According to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, nationwide builder confidence appeared to turn a corner in June, when the index results surged eight points to a reading of 52 — topping 50 for the first time in seven years. Fifty is the magic number: a reading higher than 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor.

The index hasn’t seen a one-month jump this large since before the recession, when it rose eight points between August and September 2002. The Housing Market Index is based on builders’ impressions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the coming six months. Builders also are asked to rate prospective buyer traffic as “high to very high,” “average,” or “low to very low.”

All three indicators posted gains in June. The index measuring current sales conditions increased eight points to 56, while the index gauging sales expectations rose nine points to 61, its highest level since March 2006. Traffic expectations rose seven points to 40 on the index scale.

NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said builders finally are “experiencing some relief in the headwinds that are holding back a more robust recovery,” and we believe he’s right. According to Crowe, builders’ June display of confidence supports the NAHB’s forecast for a 29 percent increase in housing starts this year, which would be the first time since 2007 that starts will have topped 1 million.

• Andy Warren is President of Maracay Homes, the Arizona subsidiary of the Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona and Greater Phoenix Leadership; as well as the Board of Directors and as an Executive Committee member with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. He is also an active member of the Urban Land Institute.

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Kyrene Akimel A-al Middle School

David Jolkovski/AFN
Kyrene Akimel A-al Middle school Principal Mike Deignan poses with students in front of the school sign that is advertising their "A" rating.

Kyrene Akimel A-al Middle School has been part of the Ahwatukee area since 1992, offering each of its Rattlers an enjoyable schooling experience from the morning bell to the ending bell.

According to its website, the name of the school is from the Akimel O’odham language and it means, “Children of the River.”

Principal Mike Deignan said the school offers sport activities and a learning lab before school starts, which provides students time before school to seek extra help with work completion or tutoring.

“That keeps our students involved with a lot of things, between the sports and the learning lab,” Deignan said.

For more information, visit www.kyrene.org/aki.

• Compiled by Daniel Ochoa.

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