Construction Backlog Indicator on the Rise
The Associated Contractors and Builders (ABC) Construction Backlog Indicator surged to 8.6 months in December, up from 8.5 months in November. This significant uptick indicates a growing pipeline of projects, pointing towards sustained activity and opportunities for builders.
Housing Market Supply and Demand
With approximately half as many existing homes on the market as usual and a deficit of 1.5 million homes in the U.S., the stage is set for robust construction in the coming years. The National Association of Builders (NAHB) reported a rise in builder confidence for newly built, single-family homes in December, further underlining the positive trajectory.
Easing Credit Conditions
As we roll into the new year, credit conditions are showing signs of improvement. The Federal Reserve is expected to reduce borrowing costs, creating a more favorable environment for homebuilders and potential homeowners alike to secure loans.
Mortgage Rates and Permits
The Mortgage Bankers Association reports a steady decline in 30-year fixed mortgage rates, expected to continue for at least the next six months. Additionally, housing permits increased by 1.9% from November, and housing starts, despite a 4.3% month-over-month dip, are up 7.6% from the prior ear.
Business Insider's Housing Market Recovery Insights
National Association of Home Builders CEO Jim Tobin predicts a turnaround in 2024, marking the end of a period characterized by low inventory and sluggish activity. Tobin's optimism is echoed by a surge in mortgage applications, up 22% year-over-year in December, indicating a heightened demand for homeownership.
Remote Work's Influence on Construction Demand
The continued popularity of remote work is a potential driver for increased demand in new construction. The shift towards remote work has altered housing preferences, leading to a surge in demand for homes that accommodate work-from-home lifestyles.
The indicators above combined with rising energy and labor costs will create pressure to hold the bottom line while improving efficiency to grab market-share and revenue. For over 30 years, Demountable Concepts has worked closely with building supply companies to manage rapid growth, provide best-in-class delivery service to their customers, and reduce fleet and labor costs.
Swap body trucks offer builders a game-changing advantage in adapting to growing demand while driving efficiency throughout delivery operations. The base unit of this proven system consists of a demountable equipped cab-chassis that can swap between bodies equipped with retractable legs in 10 minutes to provide the following benefits:
Multiple Delivery Runs Per Shift with No Driver Downtime - In some situations a second delivery run per shift, per truck can be added due to time saved using demountable delivery trucks.
No Overtime Loading - Turnaround times are reduced to just minutes because the next body is already loaded when the truck returns. It takes about 10 minutes to swap an empty body for a loaded body so bodies can be loaded during normal business hours.
Earlier Departures – Since bodies can be loaded independent of the truck, late arriving trucks can demount their empty body and mount a body that was preloaded during the day. Instead of hours loading the truck in the morning it departs first thing.
Reduced Fleet and Labor Costs - Fewer truck power units are required to do the same amount of work. To grow add power units at a ratio of one to two bodies. Adding a demountable body is less expensive than adding an entire truck.
Fewer loaders and drivers are required since bodies can be loaded independent of the truck during the day and drivers no longer have to wait while their trucks are being loaded. They just "swap and go!"
Increased Warehouse Efficiency, Decreased Product Loss - No more staging orders. Load right off the production line directly into the truck. This reduces loading expenses and product touches for less damage.
As the homebuilding industry embarks on this era of growth, exploring innovative solutions like Demountable Swap Body delivery trucks can position builders to increase their new customer base while increasing volume to satisfy the growth of existing customers.