Landscape Architect & Specifier News

DEC 2018

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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2018-19 Street-level Outlooks According to the American Institute of Architects, employment in the industry continues to grow, with the most recent data available putting the total number of employees nationwide at 198,300 – an addition of nearly 10,000 in the last year. The latest Construction Confidence Index by Associated Builders and Contractors showed that more than three in four construction firms expect that sales will continue to rise while three in five expect higher profit margins. Sales expectations increased from 72.2 to 72.6 and profit margin expectations increased from 63.4 to 64.5: well above the diffusion index threshold of 50, signaling ongoing expansion in activity. The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index remains near record territory with a score of 107.4. And the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment measure was still solid with a mark of 97.5. 20 Landscape Architect and Specifier News Q4/17 Q2/18 Q1/18 Q3/18 More companies than not reported better business in each quarter compared to the previous quarter in the last 12 months. 70 65 Houzz Renovation Barometer: U.S. Construction Sector Above 50 = Positive Score 71 72 FOR SALE 5,250 FOR SALE FOR SALE FOR SALE FOR SALE 2016 2015 2019 2018 2019 2015 2018 2017 2017 2016 Housing Units in Thousands Housing Units in Thousands New Home Sales (Single Family) Existing Home Sales 501 613 553* 665 ^ NEW HOME NEW HOME NEW HOME NEW HOME NEW HOME 5,450 5,510 5,220 * According to the Wells Fargo Economics Group, sales of new single-family houses in the first three quarters of 2018 were 3.6% higher than the same period last year. This does represent an overall slowdown of past performances but on the plus side, inventories have be - gun to rebound, increasing modestly over the last three months, and price gains have slowed. The group is pre - dicting that new home sales will continue to increase 5.6% in 2019 and 5.3% in 2020, and that the multifam - ily sector will be strong for a little longer as "there are a great deal of projects in the pipeline and a large number of proposed projects that have not yet moved forward." After six straight months of declines, total existing- home sales posted a gain of 1.4%, but that is still 5.1% down on a year-to-year basis. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors®, concludes that "Gains in the Northeast, South and West – a reversal from last month's steep decline or pla - teau in all regions – helped overall sales activity rise for the first time since March 2018." Total housing inven - tory, which includes single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, is at 1.85 million - a gain of 50,000 over a year ago - representing a 4.3-month sup - ply compared to 3.9 months this time last year. 561 5,465 ^ Building Permits The latest monthly numbers for single-family housing units authorized by building permits are up 5.7% over the same period last year. Authorizations for residences with five or more units are about even with their year ago rate, and the demand for multifamily units remains strong according to the Wells Fargo Economics Group. Global economics research and forecasting firm Trading Economics is predicting a drop in total permits of about 1.7% in the next 12 months but then an increase of almost 6% in 2020. 2016 2019 2015 2018 2017 Housing Units in Thousands 1,241 ^^ 1,182 1,190 1,263* 1,320 *Seasonally adjusted annual rate for last reporting period ^^ Trading Economics' forecast ^ Wells Fargo Economics Group forecast

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