Kathryn Thompson of locally based Thompson Research Group was a guest Monday on the Bloomberg Surveillance radio show where she discussed trends affecting the construction sector. Some of the big ones, she said, are the pricing power building products manufacturers now have — something Louisiana-Pacific has benefited from — and emerging signs of shortages both in materials and labor. But the market isn't overcooking like 2006, she added, in part because of greater regulation and the reach of the booming energy sector into other parts of the economy.
Thompson, whose team is headquartered in the 2525 West End Building, also spoke about the Nashville market for a bit and answered one of the big cocktail party questions of the moment. The apartment building boom the area has seen in recent years will end in the next 18 months or so.
"We're in a cycle and I think that we're 50 to 60 percent or more through that cycle," she said. "That will taper off, particularly as home prices continue to march up."
Research firm CoreLogic says the number of Nashville-area homeowners delinquent on their mortgages fell below 4.5 percent in January, the first time since June 2009 they were that low. The region's foreclosure rate held steady in the first month of the new year.
Middle Tennessee home sales have rebounded nicely and prices have started to rise at a decent clip, but there's one housing market statistic that hasn't budged much at all in the past year and change. At the end of 2012, CoreLogic says 13.4 percent of local homes with a mortgage were worth less than that mortgage. That was actually up slightly from September of 2011. Another 6.6 percent of mortgaged homes were in near-negative equity, which is about a point better than 15 months prior.
Here's CoreLogic's national release, which shows a number of cities with negative equity ratios still well above 30 percent.
Nashville-area home prices ended January 6 percent higher than a year earlier and up 0.7 percent from December, according to research firm CoreLogic. Taking out distressed sales, prices rose 6.3 percent year over year. Those numbers are a nice bump from the sub-3 percent gains from last fall but they do lag the U.S. average by several points. It should be noted, though, that the national number is distorted by some gaudy numbers from several states in the West.
SEE ALSO: CoreLogic's national data release
BMO Capital Markets analyst Stephen Atkinson kicked off his week by lifting his price target for shares of Louisiana-Pacific to $25 from $24. While it's not a huge move, it has helped the stock (Ticker: LPX) stay ahead of a lackluster market today. As of 1:35 p.m., the shares were up 1 percent to $22.52, putting them within 3 percent of their highest levels since the first few weeks of 2007. They've climbed 170 percent in the past year as housing market optimism has risen.
The Nashville-area housing market finished 2012 in much better shape, say the researchers at CoreLogic. The foreclosure rate fell for the eighth straight month to its lowest level since August 2009, and the number of properties delinquent 90 days or more ticked down again. That statistic is now a full percentage point below its early 2011 level.
- ALEX B FRUIN INHERITANCE TRUST; CANDACE F STEFANSIC INHERITANCE TRUST; CANDANCE F STEFANSIC INHERITANCE TRUST; FRUIN, ALEX B TRUSTEE; FRUIN ALEX B INHERITANCE TRUST; STEFANSIC, CANDACE F TRUSTEE; STEFANSIC CANDACE F INHERITANCE TRUST; STEFANSIC CANDANCE F INHERITANCE TRUST
- ROSS, BRIDGETT D
- COOKE, ETHEN LANYARD TRUSTEE; COOKE, ETHEN LEWIS ESTATE
- JACOBS, JESSICA ALEXANDRA; JACOBS, ERIKA BESS