Building Costs up 6.5% in 2009

Building Costs up 6.5% in 2009

Although we are seeing quite a drop in local building costs – the national average is still elevated over 2008.

With steel leading the way again this month, Engineering News Record reports the following figures for April 2009:

20-CITY:
1913 = 100
April 2009
Index Value
% change
Month
% change
Year
Construction Cost 8528.39 -0.1 +5.1
Common Labor 18015.79 0.0 +5.4
WAGE $/HR. 34.23 0.0 +5.4
20-CITY:
1913 = 100
April 2009
Index Value
% change
Month
% change
Year
Building Cost 4761.05 -0.1 +4.1
Skilled Labor 8112.22 0.0 +4.1
WAGE $/HR. 45.02 0.0 +4.1
20-CITY:
1913 = 100
April 2009
Index Value
% change
Month
% change
Year
Materials 2713.54 -0.3 +3.8
CEMENT $/TON 100.91 -0.8 -0.4
STEEL $/CWT 44.83 -0.2 +8.4
LUMBER $/MBF 411.60 -0.7 -4.2

Read the entire report

Single Family Home Starts up 2.8%

Although multi-family housing was down again this month – there is a little sun shining on the single family market.

Initial construction of U.S. homes and building permits both sank to record lows in April, according to a government report released Tuesday May, 19th, but the same report also showed signs of stabilization in the single-family core of the housing market.

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iPhone home automation control

Would you like to control your home automation system from the convenience of your cell phone?

Far beyond just the music opportunities, the iPhone application represents a major development in digital platforms across the residential platform, controlling music is just one element. If people can mute a room from their iPhone, why not dim the lights and turn up the temperature a few degrees too?

Lutron agrees. The lighting-control company recently launched an iPhone/iPod Touch application that’s available for free from the Apple Web site, although consumers likely will have to pay a nominal programming fee to have the application integrated with their HomeWorks lighting-control system.

Read the full article from Builder Magazine

Vanilla home loans?

Are government regulated “vanilla” home loan packages the new standard?  Builder Online explains.

WASHINGTON – If President Barack Obama gets his way, consumers who take out mortgages would automatically get a “plain vanilla” loan – such as a traditional 30-year fixed-rate mortgage – unless they opted for a riskier variety.

Obama’s plan to revamp financial regulation aims to protect borrowers from the confusing and high-risk mortgages that fed a pandemic of delinquencies and foreclosures, led to the worst financial crisis in decades and thrust the nation into a deep recession.

Read the entire story

What home buyers want

As the dust settles from the housing bust, what are buyers now looking for?

The homes that sold like gangbusters during the good times – to the tune of nearly 1.4 million in 2005 alone – are not what the buyers of tomorrow say they are looking for.

Read more from Builder Online

Bids fall to the bottom

Is there a benefit to the Owner as bids fall below cost?  Will the contractor be able to complete the project for the contracted price?

What a difference a year makes.  In the second quarter of 2008, construction starts had moved slightly off the record-run rate of the previous three years.  The economic bloodletting set off by the sub-prime meltdown did not really spill over into construction until the second half of the year.

Read the full artile from ENR