The price of softwood lumber rose by 2.3% in December, while prices paid for ready-mix concrete, gypsum products, and OSB all fell, according to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Recent data from several sources show that home buyers’ desire for large homes (of at least 2,000 square feet) is easier to satisfy in the new housing stock than among existing homes. To be more precise, 51 percent of home buyers want homes with more than 2,000 square feet of living space. Only 41 percent of existing—but 70 percent of new—single-family homes are of this size. Similarly, 44 percent of buyers want homes with more than two bathrooms. Again, this falls between the 31 percent of existing—and 68 percent of new—single-family homes that have more than two full baths. In other words, new construction is addressing a substantial demand for homes with over 2,000 square feet of space and more than two bathrooms, which tend to be under-represented in the stock of existing homes. And while open floor plans are popular among home buyers, the design of a new home tends to be even more open.