Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Vance Publishing's W&WP magazine - April 2005 Feature

Vance Publishing's W&WP magazine - April 2005 Feature

Housing BOOM Continues!

What a BOOM! the cabinet industry has had sales growth of 107 months in a row. Many of the increases were double digit increases.

My wife and I recently spent thousands of dollars retrofitting beach condos with new cabinets. We also spent a chunk of money at carpet stores and at home improvement centers such as Lowe's and Home Depot.

Mortgage rates have recently dropped back to the low rates of last year. The end of the BOOM is hard to forecast because millions of baby boomers are just approaching the prime age to buy a second home. Second home sales are soaring. Last week, another high rise in Myrtle Beach was sold out on the first day offered.

Buyers are putting their names on lists to be included in the "lottery". One fellow's number last week was 43. He now has a pre-construction contract to buy a three bedroom three bath ocean front condo for $589,000. He intends to "flip" it before the closing date. Another fellow had number 221. There were only 160 condos in the building so this fellow and at least 60 others are eager to buy in the next building offered. Ocean front condos in the adjacent area sold for about $390,000 a year ago.

I do not know the exact square footage of the condos offered last week but I assume the heated space is less than 1600. The cost per square foot works out to about $368. In my neighborhood in Clemons NC. costs are also rising quickly. Builders report that the cost of everything from bricks to nails has jumped. The current quote for new homes is between $125 and $130 per square foot.

My wife and I have beach condos and our personal home on the market. If we sell them all, we hope to travel for the next couple of years. In the past several days, we raised the price on our personal home by $14,000 and the beach homes by substantially more.

One hundred and seven months of strong growth in the cabinet industry is an incredible number. If Marilyn and I sell our home and condos before the end of the boom, we will not look back with tears.