Housing starts get an 8.3% boost in June
Housing starts got a healthy boost of activity in June following three straight months of declines, increasing 8.3% over May.
Total housing starts came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,215,000, up from the revised May estimate of 1,122,000. This is also 2.1% above June 2016.
Single-family housing starts clocked in at 849,000, up 6.3% over May's revised figure of 799,000.
The most dramatic turnaround for starts occurred in the Northeast, where total starts were up 83.7% over May. The Midwest's monthly gain of 22% was nothing to sneeze at either, even though single-family starts decreased 3.6% there.
The South was down by 3.8% in total (but up 7.2% in single-family), and the West was up 1.6% in total and 10.6% in single-family.
The good times appear to be poised to continue: building permits totaled a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,254,000, up 7.4% over May and 5.1% over last year. Single-family permits were up 4.1% over May.
Throwback Thursday: That 70s Style
Many of the design ideas of Llew Reszka from 1979 would generate nods of agreement among modern retailers.
In an article under the headline “Car designer shifts gears to home center décor,” published in the Sept. 24, 1979 issue of National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, Reszka shared the following concepts:
- “Stores on a highway are like so many cans of soup on a grocery shelf. Why should a shopper stop at one rather than another if they all look alike?”
- “You have to create an image in consumers’ minds, something vivid and exciting that grabs them from the highway and continues to hold them once they’re inside the store.”
- “We think the life of a store design, ideally, is five years. After that, shoppers no longer see it.”
- “In a way, most stores are just shoe boxes, but there’s a lot you can do to make them have an impact on the local scene.”
Reszka, the article explains, was a General Motors designer who merged into retail design, and parked some of his ideas in companies including Cheboygan Lumber, Church’s Lumber and Shuette’s Building Supply. His trademark: bright bold graphics and visual excitement.
The giant geometric mobile that hung from the rafters at Cheboygan Lumber in Cheboygan Michigan might have been a stretch (see photo), but his concepts of clear consistent aisle signage, category symbols and wall murals were ahead of their time.
He asked retailers in 1979: “How much service and information can you provide in a given area, instead of just saying “’paint department?’” The question remains valid today.
# # #
Have you seen home improvement history? Let us know at [email protected].
Houzz Stat: Homeowners’ favorite rooms to renovate
Kitchen, bathrooms and living rooms top the list. Kitchens, bathrooms and living rooms remain the top priorities for homeowners who are renovating, the survey found. For first-time buyers, master bedroom remodels are particularly important. Master bedrooms are their third most frequent renovation, and twice as likely to be tackled by first-time buyers compared with long-term owners.
We all need a little help sometimes. Renovating homeowners are increasingly turning to pros for help, with 87 percent hiring a pro during the course of their renovation in 2016, up from 85 percent in 2015. Repeat home buyers hire pros in the greatest numbers.
Download the 2017 Houzz & Home Report here.