Welcome Mats, Curtains and a Maze of Building Industry Statistics


Have you ever used Google Street View? It’s amazing how many images they’ve captured by driving andCollett_Park_Neighborhood_Historic_District photographing hundreds of thousands of streets and neighborhoods. From rural farms to big city restaurants, it seems they’ve documented every nook and cranny across the country. Believe it or not, they aren’t the only company that has a fleet of vehicles canvassing neighborhoods to collect valuable data — and in one specific case, they’re collecting data that benefits architects, builders and contractors alike.

Metrostudy, a subsidiary of Hanley Wood, hosted an event in Chicago last week to share some compelling insights on new housing starts, household formations, lot supplies, and other construction trends. The reason for their neighborhood drive-bys — as referenced above — is to collect the most accurate data possible that can help builders, architects, developers and manufactures design effective sales and distribution strategies. For example, the company verifies activity at construction sites to confirm actual starts. In regard to new home sales, their researchers look for signs of an actual move-in such as a welcome mat or curtains, which signal an occupied home. Without their team of more than 350 researchers who log 200,000-plus miles each quarter, this meaningful data would not exist.

Another outcome of Metrostudy’s diligent research and number crunching are detailed reports on projected areas of growth. While their data is available on a micro-level, here’s their overarching list of top new home markets for 2015:

  1. The Villages, Fla.
  2. Orlando, Fla.
  3. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.
  4. Raleigh, N.C.
  5. Denver, Colo.
  6. Naples-Marco Island, Fla.
  7. San Francisco-Oakland, Calif.
  8. Phoenix-Scottsdale, Ariz.
  9. Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Do you have plans to design or build in these areas in 2015? What are your projections for new construction activity in your neck of the woods?

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