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Total U.S. Housing Starts Projected to Hit 1.23 Million in 2016

Total U.S. Housing Starts Projected to Hit 1.23 Million in 2016

The fourth quarter update indicates U.S. housing starts are expected to advance gradually to hit 1.23 million this year, with 819,000 of those being single family homes as defined by the Commerce Department, according to the Metrostudy release of the fourth quarter 2015 Home Building Outlook detailing housing construction trends nationwide.

Multi-family housing starts are expected to increase to 418,000 as the rental market continues to exhibit strength. Metrostudy’s proprietary survey database, which consists of data from over 100 CBSAs and consists of hand-counted lots and newly occupied homes, indicates move-ins were 7.5 percent higher in the fourth quarter of 2015 than a year earlier, while new housing starts rose 12 percent.

Nationwide new home sales as defined by the Commerce Department are expected to increase 18 percent to 590,000 this year, up from the preliminary 501,000 reported in 2015. New home sales saw a sharper peak-to-trough decline than overall housing starts, and from trough to 2014 did not increased as much, resulting in a statistical catch-up.

The best overall new home markets are Denver, San Francisco, Sarasota/Bradenton in Florida, and Charleston, S.C., in terms of health and local new home sales forecast. The Sunbelt dominates in terms of sales volume, with the largest new home markets expected to be Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, and Atlanta.

“The U.S. housing market continues to gradually expand,” says Brad Hunter, Chief Economist of Metrostudy. “We expect steady growth for the next several years, with slower price gains in the new home sector.” Mark Boud of Real Estate Economics, a subsidiary of Metrostudy, also observes, “Some in our industry have voiced concerns about economic problems in China impacting the housing market, or high new home prices restricting demand. We recognize those factors may have some impact, but it will be not be significant enough to prevent our forecasted expansion in construction.”

For more information, visit www.Metrostudy.com

The Top 6 Landscape Design Trends for 2016

The Top 6 Landscape Design Trends for 2016

Lux lighting and edible arrangements are on the rise this year, according to the National Association of Landscape Professionals’ list of the top landscape design trends for 2016, a gathering of data based on current consumer demands and lifestyle trends, as well as broader horticultural, architectural and design factors.

“The latest trends reflect the desire to bring the indoors out — to create comfortable landscapes that are both functional and beautiful,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs, NALP. “At the same time, we’re seeing a shift toward sustainable landscapes that reflect a renewed sense of mindfulness for the Earth and its ecosystems.”

Specifically, NALP anticipates increased consumer interest in and adoption of the following six trends:

  • Fully customized outdoor living spaces. As more and more homeowners entertain outdoors and make the most of time spent outside, landscapes have become extensions of interior spaces, complete with furniture and appliances. Beyond basic decks and patios, more landscapes this year will be transformed into full-service kitchens with brick ovens and grills, comfortable living and dining rooms featuring fireplaces and firepits, and romantic canopy bedrooms. Themed spaces, such as yoga gardens or bocce fields, further personalize outdoor retreats to fit homeowners’ interests. 
  • Lighted and high-tech landscapes. A natural extension of the outdoor living trend is equipping these landscapes with creative and functional lighting and technological enhancements. Dramatic and boldly colored lights, twinkling accent lighting in walkways, backyard Wi-Fi and TV installations are just some of the ways gardens are getting tech-savvy in 2016.
  • Eco-friendly and native gardens. “Naturescaping” — selecting and growing native plants to attract birds, insects and wildlife — is one method landscapers will continue to employ in 2016 to appeal to an increased interest in developing environmentally conscious landscapes. Busy homeowners seek simply beautiful landscapes that are easy to maintain, and naturescaping encourages the use of low-maintenance perennial native plants and innately manages water runoff. The installation of solar-powered lighting or energy-efficient LED lights is another way landscapes will go green this year.
  • Edible landscapes. The demand for low-maintenance options has made container gardens, which often do not require extensive care, grow in popularity. When combined with a preference for the natural and organic, a new trend emerges: edible landscapes. Fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables add texture and color variety to landscapes, while providing a fresh supply of delicious ingredients. Not limited to individual home gardens, edible landscapes will be planned and planted by landscape developers in neighborhoods and community residences in 2016.
  • Freshwater features. The techniques used to manage storm water will not be hidden in 2016. Rain barrels, rain gardens and stone retaining walls add stunning dimension to lush landscapes, while serving an important purpose of collecting, cleaning or stopping water. In fact, water and other non-plant features, including sculptures or pottery, are becoming focal points in landscapes.
  • Soothing hues. For the first time, Pantone, the authority on color and provider of color systems and technology for color communication, has announced the blending of two colors — Rose Quartz and Serenity — as its Pantone Color of the Year for 2016. Expect these soft, nature-inspired pink and blue hues to bloom in gardens this year as heritage rose bushes, Catherine Woodbury daylilies, Angelique tulips, blue lace delphinium, French hydrangea and others.

For more information, visit LoveYourLandscape.com.

For more real estate information, including a FREE Home Market Analysis and Market Area Statistics, please contact me at Kim@KimKroner.com or on my mobile phone at (703) 946-2526.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.
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