Surge in Pre-Sold Custom Homes Felt by Columbia Builders

November 1, 2008

While a decline in existing, specifically, starter to mid-level, homes continues to show slow improvement on a regional and national level, a marked increase in pre-sold custom built homes appears to be on the rise. Stabilized and, in many cases, lower building material costs, coupled with lower interest rates offered by eager to lend financial institutions may be part of the reason.

According to Todd Lewis, Senior Account Representative with 84 Lumber Company, “Lumber composites (which include pine, spruce, and fir) have dropped over 34%. Panels (plywood) have dropped over 12%. The overall lumber market has changed very little over the past 24 months. With lumber on a ten year low and little change in the market recently, one would tend to rationalize that drastic price decreases are not on the horizon.” “In combination with competitive quality labor prices, readily available lots, record low interest rates, and a down lumber market, now is the perfect time to build a home not only as everyone dreams of but also as a sound investment,” added Lewis.

“I have experienced more demand for large, high-end custom homes in the last three months than I had in the last two years combined,” said local builder Steve Baudo, Owner of Baudo & Associates Home Builders, Inc. “We typically focus our efforts on homes starting around the $400,000 and up, but lately the bulk of interest seems to be in the million dollar plus range.” “We just started one large project, and are planning one new large custom order each month from now through February, the smallest of which is around 6,500 square feet,” said Baudo. “Additional clients are simply waiting on their final plans from their architects, and as they bring them to us our pipeline should be filling up,” he added.


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