James Hardie raises 2021 profit forecast on high demand for renovation

Adds details on markets, 2021 forecast

Oct 14 (Reuters)Australian building materials supplier James Hardie Industries JHX.AX on Wednesday raised its full-year profit forecast and said it expected to post record second-quarter results, boosted by solid demand for its services across markets.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic related shutdowns hammered sales earlier in the year, there has been a recovery in Asia Pacific and European markets.

James Hardie, the world’s biggest fibre cement maker, said the all-time high quarterly sales were “made possible by having all three operating regions deliver growth above market.”

In August, it said sales in North America, one of its biggest markets, were buyoed by homeowners turning to renovation amid the pandemic.

The company increased its fiscal 2021 forecast for underlying net operating profit after tax (NOPAT) to between $380 million and $420 million, from an earlier projection of $330 million and $390 million.

It

Read More

US In Danger Of Becoming A ‘Renter Nation’ As Home Prices Hit Record High, Says Investor

KEY POINTS

  • Every $1,000 increase in home price pushes 150,000 buyers away: Report 
  • Rental prices have dropped by 0.1% since last month: Report
  • Homebuying is currently led by people with jobs and equity

Rising demand for homes, unprecedented levels of mortgage rates and low supply have pushed home prices out of reach for prospective homebuyers, which could make America a ‘renter nation,’ Grant Cardone, a real estate investor, told Yahoo.

“Homeownership is still dead in this country because the only people that are buying homes right now are people that have equity, great credit, and a job,” Cardone said.

For every $1,000 increase in home price, 150,000 buyers are priced out of a possible home purchase, according to a recent report by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

The fall season is known to be good for real estate as home prices fall during this time. Realtor.com, however, suggests

Read More

Weekly High Frequency Indicators: Slow Improvement Has Continued

Purpose

I look at the high frequency weekly indicators because while they can be very noisy, they provide a good nowcast of the economy and will telegraph the maintenance or change in the economy well before monthly or quarterly data is available. They are also an excellent way to “mark your beliefs to market.” In general, I go in order of long-leading indicators, then short-leading indicators, then coincident indicators.

A Note on Methodology

Data is presented in a “just the facts, ma’am” format with a minimum of commentary so that bias is minimized.

Where relevant, I include 12-month highs and lows in the data in parentheses to the right. All data taken from St. Louis FRED unless otherwise linked.

A few items (e.g., Financial Conditions indexes, regional Fed indexes, stock prices, the yield curve) have their own metrics based on long-term studies of their behavior.

Where data is seasonally adjusted,

Read More

Desperate landlords offer renovation subsidies to lure tenants as Hong Kong’s vacant office space hits 21-year high



a skyscraper in a city: The amount of office space lying empty reached the highest level in 21 years in September, according to property services company CBRE. Photo: K Y Cheng


© SCMP
The amount of office space lying empty reached the highest level in 21 years in September, according to property services company CBRE. Photo: K Y Cheng

Hong Kong’s commercial landlords are offering incentives such as renovation subsidies to lure tenants, as the amount of office space lying empty reaches the highest level in 21 years, according to property services company CBRE.

Some landlords have begun offering a one-off subsidy to help new tenants fit out their office space, said Alan Lok, executive director of advisory and transaction services for offices at CBRE.

“In some cases, the landlord would offer a subsidy of about HK$100 (US$12.9) per square foot,” said Lok during a briefing on Wednesday.

Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.

The subsidy is attractive because relocation costs in Hong Kong are very expensive, he said.

Read More

Westchester Home Prices Pushed to Record High By Bidding Wars

(Bloomberg) — Home prices in Westchester County surged to a record in the third quarter as bidders from New York City battled for a chance to buy a suburban retreat.

The median price of single-family homes that changed hands in the quarter jumped 16% from a year earlier to $808,500, the highest in data going back to 1986, according to a report Thursday by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate.



chart, histogram: Sellers Winning in Westchester


© Bloomberg
Sellers Winning in Westchester

Open houses have drawn crowds, and multiple offers on the same day, largely from city-dwellers seeking space for a prolonged period of working from home throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Their purchases nearly cleared the market of listings, which tumbled 30% from a year earlier.

Loading...

Load Error

“We’re all preparing for what could be a second wave of spiking cases,” Douglas Elliman President Scott Durkin said in an interview. “Everyone is

Read More

U.K. Home-Price Gauge at 18-Year High Amid Post-Lockdown Boom

(Bloomberg) — A closely watched gauge of U.K. house-price growth surged to the highest in almost two decades last month amid a post-lockdown property boom.



a tall building in a city: Residential houses stand in Frome, U.K., on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. U.K. house prices rose at their strongest annual pace since 2016 last month as Britons’ changing work patterns and a tax reduction on purchases fanned a resurgence.


© Bloomberg
Residential houses stand in Frome, U.K., on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. U.K. house prices rose at their strongest annual pace since 2016 last month as Britons’ changing work patterns and a tax reduction on purchases fanned a resurgence.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ measure of price movements over the past three months climbed to the highest since 2002 in September. New listings, inquiries and agreed sales all posted gains.

However, its survey found real estate agents expect a bleaker picture in the longer term. The recent winding down of the government’s furlough program is widely anticipated to push unemployment up, and the end of a temporary cut in tax on home purchases may weigh heavily on activity.

“There is increasing concern that

Read More

Stretch your imagination: High Country architects bring clients’ ideas and inspirations to life

The ‘Fly Barn’ is an intimate structure adjacent to the main house, wherein the fly-fishing contingent store their fly rods, vests and drift boat, as well as sit at the bench tying flies and regale each other with fish stories.
Photo courtesy Shepherd Resources Inc.

Everyone has their own ideas about what makes a home truly stand apart from the rest, but sometimes, it takes a little inspiration from others to get those creative juices really flowing. Homeowners curate ideas from all kinds of sources — from magazines to favorite vacation memories — and experienced architects bring those visions to life. Here are several examples of cool home elements to get your motor running.

Lighting it up

Doug DeChant and his associates at Shepherd Resources Inc. believe that light is central to any good design, be it light of the sun, moon or fire.

Whether it’s an indoor fireplace or

Read More

August Home Sales Soar to a Record High: 5 Top Housing Picks

The U.S. housing sector is on a roll, with an increasing number of Americans leveraging on the record-low mortgage rates. The latest pending home sales data for August reached the highest level on record as more Americans signed contracts to buy homes in the month, suggesting that the hot U.S. housing market will maintain the strong spell well into fall.

All-Time High Pending Home Sales

The National Association of Realtors or NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index — a forward looking indicator of home sales based on contact signing — soared 8.8% from July to 132.8 in August, hitting a record high, according to the NAR survey since January 2001. Contract signings are 24.2% higher from the year-ago period as well.

It is worth mentioning that August marks the fourth consecutive month of gains as well as the third year-over-year rise since the pandemic hit the housing market hard. All four

Read More

Baltimore County High Schools Will Need $1.2B In Capital Improvements Over Next 7 Years, Report Finds

TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Baltimore County’s public high schools will likely need $1.2 billion in capital improvements over a seven-year period, an initial report analyzing the school system’s infrastructure needs found.

The report, released Tuesday and put together by consultants from CannonDesign, outlines $448 million in need to address capacity issues within county high schools and another $349 million needed to improve the schools’ conditions.

The remaining $423 million is needed to address educational adequacy and equity, including factors like safety, technology and educational programming, according to the report.

Roughly one-fifth of the improvements — $244 million — are listed as being “critical,” mainly to address overcrowded schools.

To address space concerns and a projected increase of 1,700 high school students over the next decade, the report recommends the school system explore additions to numerous high schools or build new ones after soliciting community feedback. An initial community survey

Read More

U.S. pending home sales race to record high in August

FILE PHOTO: A home for sale sign hangs in front of a house in Oakton, on the day the National Association of Realtors issues its Pending Home Sales for February report, in Virginia March 27, 2014. REUTERS/Larry Downing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Contracts to buy U.S. previously owned homes surged to a record high in August, suggesting housing market activity was gathering speed amid record-low mortgage rates.

The National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed last month, jumped 8.8% to an all-time high of 132.8 last month. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast pending home contracts, which become sales after a month or two, rising 3.4% in August.

Pending home sales increased 24.2% from a year ago. The housing market has pressed ahead even as the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown millions out of work. The unemployment burden has fallen disproportionately on low-wage

Read More