Builder business has rebounded from what it was in the bottom of the market. It’s not what it was in the heyday of the mid-2000s, but the industry is rejuvenating and states that were hit hard by the housing crash – like Florida, Texas and California – are coming back. Job growth and the thriving oil and gas market are helping Texas recuperate especially well.
With the market resurging, builders are getting back to what they did in the boom – building new homes. It’s exciting to see them getting invested and bringing back previous employees who many lost when they right-sized their staff for the market.
Recently, we’ve seen a new focus within the sector on land positions. Twelve months ago, the industry was split into two camps – one that bought land and the other that didn’t want to be caught with too much of it. As land supply begins to fall short of the demand, those who made the investments are seeing great payoff.
As the sector grows and more companies bounce back, homebuilders have started offering new incentives to gain a competitive edge. Stewart is responding by helping our customers enhance their offerings. Through Stewart Specialty Insurance Services and our network of partners, we now offer fee-based concierge services for our builders. These include a high-touch, high-level, competitively-priced offering to new homebuyers, who can set up services such as phone, Internet, cable television, home security, moving and storage, home automation and more with a single call.
The outlook for the mid- and long term looks good for the builder sector. After a rocky start to 2014, with extreme winter weather delaying construction, builders are working to get back on track and we can expect them to continue on a positive trajectory.