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: 4:34 pm, Fri Dec 20, 2013.

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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God’s Garden Preschool of Ahwatukee

Daniel Ochoa/AFN
Beth Wilson, director at God's Garden Preschool of Ahwatukee, poses with students on Thursday, July 24, 2014.

God’s Garden Preschool of Ahwatukee has been in the area for the past 14 years, giving each child a centralized learning experience.

Students range from 2 to 4 years old, with more than 140 students currently enrolled at the school.

Throughout the summer, God’s Garden offered weekly summer programs that were themed differently each week.

Some themes ranged from “Cat in the Hat,” science, math to superheroes.

Director Beth Wilson said programs were flexible to the needs of the community.

“We changed it up every year to the demand of what’s out there,” she said.

God’s Garden will also offer enrichment classes for students from culinary to dual-language courses.

Currently, God’s Garden is accepting enrollment for the fall semester, which will begin on Aug. 4.

For more information about the preschool, visit www.godsgarden.com.

• Compiled by Daniel Ochoa.

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