National Housing Market Outlook

Survey Confirms that Traffic is Slowing as The Tax Credit Nears Expiration

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John Burns

November 3, 2009
Each month, we receive survey responses from 250+ home builder executives across the country, who manage 1,700+ communities in about 90 MSAs, and use their feedback as one tool to analyze housing market conditions. Our format asks specific questions, but also includes the opportunity for comments. While we have confirmed many interesting findings, such as that orders and net home prices are running relatively flat right now, our favorite part of the survey is the qualitative feedback. For months, we have been importing the comments into a program that highlights the most frequently used words.
In October, the words “tax,” “credit”, and “first time” were used much more frequently, and the comments clearly stated that tax credits had helped sales substantially. “Traffic” was prominently used, and the commentary showed that traffic had indeed declined – a precursor for a slow holiday selling season. In June, the words “foreclosures,” and “bottom” were more important, and the comments clearly stated that foreclosure competition was a huge problem but that some were seeing a bottom as price stability was emerging.
If you are currently working at a home builder with at least one actively selling community, you are eligible to participate in our survey. We realize everyone is busy, so it’s designed to take less than 10 minutes. Survey participants receive:
  • a free copy of the 20+/- page survey results, including verbatim color commentary

  • a free current Data Library and Forecast on the market of your choice

  • guaranteed confidentiality (we ask for the results in your market and not just your projects, and we do not compile the results by company or share e-mail addresses with anyone)
If you’d like to participate, please email a note and your contact information to: We qualify all our participants, so we’ll follow up with you!

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John Burns
Chief Executive Officer
As CEO, John grows, leads, and supports a team of passionate, articulate, likable, and smart experts. Together, we solve today so our clients can navigate to tomorrow.

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