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BUILDERS SAY INCREASED HOME BUILDING STILL HINGES ON THE ECONOMY

 IRVING, Texas, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Home starts are expected to increase slightly over the next year and the economy is the single most important factor in increased home building, according to a survey conducted this week during a national conference of home builders. The Fall Builders Conference, jointly sponsored by Builder magazine, the National Association of Home Builders, and Masco Corporation (NYSE: MAS), the leading home building products and home furnishings manufacturer, brought together 120 of the nation's major home builders.
 According to Builder magazine Editor-in-Chief Mitchell Rouda, the builders at this conference represent the heart of today's building industry. "This is a meeting of high-profile builders from east, north, west and south. They are keenly aware of the trends that affect the building industry now and in the future. Because this is their livelihood, these builders are providing us with expert commentary about the home building industry," said Rouda.
 The non-scientific survey of conference attendees, taken Thursday (Oct. 7), was designed to identify major home building trends for the coming year. According to survey respondents, the trend is toward building moderate-sized homes. Ninety-seven percent of those surveyed felt that current demand centers around 1,500- to 3,000-square-foot homes. Only a handful of respondents anticipated a rise in the demand for homes over 3,000 square feet.
 Conference attendees also confirmed the enduring influence of baby boomers on the new home market. Most of the builders surveyed (65 percent) said they are currently building the majority of their homes for baby boomers with children. Twenty-two percent were building a greater number of homes for older adults, while 17 percent gear most of their homes toward young couples.
 When asked how their building patterns will change over the next five to seven years, 54 percent of those responding said they anticipate the greatest increase in older adult buyers, followed by baby-boomer buyers (32 percent) and single adults (25 percent). Following the trend toward smaller homes is the opinion of over 50 percent of builders that empty-nesters constitute the largest future growth segment for home building.
 A number of factors were cited by conference survey respondents as obstacles to new-home construction. Both funding and building supply costs were identified by 32 percent of the builders as the most important negative factors. The ability to market homes (26 percent) and consumer confidence (14 percent) were also described as prohibiting increased home building. The 74 percent of builders who anticipated only a slight increase in housing starts over the coming year far outstripped the 15 percent who felt there would be no change, and even farther outdistanced the .09 percent who anticipated a substantial increase.
 The survey also addressed builders' impressions of new technology which will shape the face of home building in the not-so-distant future. More than half of those surveyed felt that manufactured building components will make home building easier. Thirty-seven percent saw these components totally changing the home building industry. However, when asked about future home building trends, only 20 percent identified technological advances as a force that would shape the future.
 The Fall Builders Conference is an annual event made possible through the combined efforts of Builder magazine; Masco Corporation, a Taylor, Mich.-based home building product and home furnishings manufacturer; and the National Association of Home Builders.
 -0- 10/8/93
 /CONTACT: Mitchell Rouda of Builder Magazine, 202-383-8347; or Regina Strong of Casey Communications Management, 313-423-4600, for Masco Corporation/
 (MAS)


CO: Builder Magazine; National Association of Home Builders;
 Masco Corporation ST: Michigan IN: CST SU:


JG-TO -- DE019 -- 0269 10/08/93 15:31 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 8, 1993
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