Magic words! It appears that the housing economy is starting to return. We have heard rumors and have personally experienced some positive things that lead us to believe that the housing economy is in the process of healing and is being restored.
This is beautiful music to the ears of home builders, residential architects, American economists, politicians, and generally anyone that is affected by the design, furnishing, construction, and sales of houses in the United States. One of piece of information comes from an old high school chum of Rand Soellner’s in South Bend, Indiana. He happens to work in the Chemistry Department of Notre Dame and he mentioned to Rand the other day that the RV (Recreational Vehicle) industry in Elkhart, Indiana is apparently one of the secret indicators of the health of America’s economy.
Also, one of Rand’s clients happens to own a steel company and he echoed this information, saying that Elkhart is home to the 5 largest RV manufacturing companies in the United States. The owner of this steel company said that they have had multiple conversations and meetings with these manufacturers. Evidently, it is true that America’s economists monitor the sales of these companies closely. When sales are down, as it has been for the previous several months, it means that Americans are not spending money and the economy is going to be sluggish. When orders for RVs improve, as they are right now, it is a sign that Americans feel good about the economy and that things are improving and that they can be more liberal with discretionary funds. So, those who have the means to make such a substantial purchase as a Recreational Vehicle are placing orders right now.
This, according to the steel company owner and others (including Rand Soellner’s high school chum) said that this is an indicator of an improving economy. So, that is one good sign.
Here’s another: Rand Soellner HOME ARCHITECTS TM website recently went to #1 for a few days, then just slipped back to #2. This normally happens when the website is in the process of being ranked up to the next level. There are a number of factors affecting this, including website traffic, but according to website traffic statistics, it appears that the Soellner website is experiencing healthy traffic, indicating that people who are thinking of hiring residential architects are looking at his firm’s website. This is a good sign of a healthier housing economy, too.
And here’s another one: Soellner was recently engaged to design a custom residential project in the Carolinas. That is verifiable, actual new business, which is always the best sign of a healing and restoring economy. Also, his company is receiving more inquiries (for both commercial and residential projects) in the past several months, all of which points to a renewed interest in the hearts, minds, and pocketbooks of businesspeople and hopeful homeowners, and that is a good thing.
While these 3 indicators might seem like tiny blips on America’s economic radar, they certainly are not negative. They are positive in anyone’s estimation of what a resurrecting economy should have. So many people dwell on the gloomy side of what can happen; we thought you might appreciate some good news, grassroots as it may be.
What does this mean to you? Well, if you are planning on having your dream house designed and built in the next year or two, you might want to give some serious consideration to starting now. After the residential market is healed, prices will likely begin returning to pre-recession levels and the low mortgage rates and low construction prices that you can enjoy today will be gone.
People in the residential construction market have taken it on the chin during this downturn and they are not going to be disposed to allowing that to happen to them again, so do not look for today’s excellent low prices to continue indefinitely. Once prices for housing return to normal levels, they may stay there for a long time, as least as long as the vivid memories of today’s developers and builders. So: take advantage of the remaining few weeks and get started as soon as you can.