International buyers can have a large impact on home values at the top of the market, according to a new survey. 

International buyers of residential real estate in the United States don't have a significant impact on the overall housing market. They are more influential at the top end of the market, according to the 2017 Q2 Zillow Home Price Expectations Surveyi.

The quarterly survey, sponsored by Zillow and conducted by Pulsenomics LLC, asked more than 100 housing experts and economists about the impact of international buyers on the U.S. real estate market. Overall, international buyers have a modest effect on inventory and home values, according to the panelists. At the high end of the market, though, the respondents said international buyers have a major impact on home values.

Since the housing crash, housing affordability has been a significant issue for many Americans. Rapidly increasing rents had the dual effect of financially incentivizing homeownership and making it harder to save for a down payment. At the same time, lagging new construction and high negative equity rates have kept inventory low, pushing up home values and making it harder to find an affordable home. Increased activity from international buyers of U.S. real estate has also fueled concerns about affordability.


Entrepreneurs from the class of 2017 should know these key aspects of construction.

By Todd Andrew

I recently had the privilege of speaking to construction students at a local college, and quite a few expressed a desire to run their own company or work as a general contractor. It dawned on me that, very soon, these young people will be in a position to start making their dreams a reality. So with graduation season upon us, here are 17 tips for all the budding entrepreneurs in the class of 2017:


Detroit’s formerly underdeveloped communities wait to break ground on a historic residential development.

by Kat Zeman

Once economically depressed, five Detroit neighborhoods are experiencing a prosperous comeback. In September, the communities between the city’s midtown and downtown will kick off what is being forecasted as Detroit’s big economic revival.

The District Detroit - a network of five mixed-use neighborhoods that include residential, office, retail and green spaces - has long been working to redevelop a 50-block area surrounding the new Detroit Events Center. This fall, the district’s labor will finally bear fruit. The events center - along with a number of restaurants, shops and offices – will open its doors and kick the city’s economic slump to the curb.

In addition, District Detroit is anxiously waiting to break ground on new 686-unit residential development, the single-largest housing project for Detroit in the past 20 years. A number of those units are to be used for low-income housing.


Builders need to take a close look at sustainable project requirements. 

By George D. Carry

Since 2000, commentators in the design and construction industries have questioned whether the green building movement would become mainstream or would fade away. More than 15 years later, it is clear that efficient, sustainable, and “green” project development is here to stay. The federal government and the majority of state and local governments have adopted programs and legislation that encourage or require energy efficient and resource-friendly building through green building codes and tax credits.

The U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system is the recognized leader in commercial green building certification. In addition, other green product certifications and building rating programs have emerged over the past decade including the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes program, Energy Star building certification and the International Green Construction Code.


A new guide is available to builders who are interested in high-quality timber construction. 

The Binational Softwood Lumber Council has released the Nail-Laminated Timber (NLT) U.S. Design and Construction Guide, a first-of-its-kind manual for the U.S. design and construction community. The NLT Guide was conceived and prepared by skilled practitioners who are each dedicated to advancing high-quality timber construction across industries, typologies and geographies. Available for free download at reThinkWood.com, the guide provides direction to ensure safe, predictable and economical use of NLT, and offers practical strategies and guidance, including lessons learned from real-life projects.

"Nail-laminated timber is a cost-effective solution for those looking to leverage the economic and environmental benefits of mass timber construction,” says Cees de Jager, general manager of the Binational Softwood Lumber Council. “It offers tremendous design flexibility and is readily accessible throughout the country thanks to availability of raw materials and its ease of fabrication. Equally important, NLT is already listed in the code as Heavy Timber so it can be incorporated into a project without the need for an alternative solution application. NLT is also a significant growth opportunity for our industry and, therefore, we are proud to have funded this important resource."


The future of construction work is in the Cloud. By Stewart Carroll

In an industry built on blueprints, clipboards and spreadsheets, the move to databases and 3-D modeling systems has been nothing short of a revolution. Change may have been slow in coming, but make no mistake - it's here. And as more construction technology moves to the cloud, the biggest changes of all are on their way.

Astonishing advances have been made in every step from preconstruction estimating to 5-D modeling, and layered on top of it all is the cloud, which houses software and data on the Internet rather than your desktop. This centralization of data will be a game changer for todays construction businesses, and how they adapt to it will be a deciding factor in their future ability to win work.


Homebuyers don’t mind moving or building new homes to fit their current lifestyles, according to a new survey. 

The American concept of a "forever home," or a house that will last through all phases of a person's life, is outdated, according to Taylor Morrison's 2017 Consumer Survey. The survey, conducted by Wakefield Research earlier this year on behalf of Taylor Morrison, took a look at 1,000 U.S. adults who have purchased a home in the last three years, or who are likely to purchase a new home in the next three years.

The survey found that more than half (58 percent) of prospective millennial homebuyers expect to change where - and the way - they live over time as their lifestyle evolves; the concept of a forever home is outdated. This sentiment is shared by 56 percent of all homebuyers. Additionally, the data shows that a third of these millennial buyers intend to live in the next home they buy for less than 10 years, with 80 percent equally or more interested in a newly constructed home over a resale home. Of all of those surveyed, 26 percent stated that the principal advantage they see in buying a newly constructed home over a pre-owned one is floor plans that fit their current lifestyle top the list.


Two companies are working to make Martha’s Vineyard energy neutral with numerous residential and commercial projects. 

At just nine miles wide and a marathon-run long (or 26 miles), roughly 16,000 people call Martha’s Vineyard home, but the population swells to 100,000 during the busiest summer months. On this island south of Cape Cod, local organizations like South Mountain Company – an integrated architecture, building, engineering, and renewable energy company – know that thoughtful, responsible use of natural and human resources is key to maintaining the island’s vitality and beauty.

“South Mountain Company is a worker cooperative, which means our employees have an ownership stake in the business, giving them the means to make lasting, valuable change where we all live and work – and installing SunPower solar is one way we choose to make an impact,” says John Abrams, founder, CEO and president of South Mountain Company.

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