When I first viewed the Oldcastle Building Solutions blog, I thought: “This looks like one that would be published by a professional media company/publisher.” In fact, Oldcastle is a building materials supplier, with nearly2,000 locations in North America.
That scale has advantages when it comes to publishing an effective blog. Consider for example, the company’s Data and Trends Report, published every two weeks.
This in-depth report is developed primarily for internal distribution, but Oldcastle Building Solutions exists to inform construction professionals like you, so we’re making this report available for anyone who’s interested in reading it.
Here is the news in the most recent report (March 3):
- The Architectural Billings Index (ABI), a 9-12 month leading indicator for commercial construction, dropped below the neutral (50) market to 49.5 in January 2017, following December’s very strong showing;
- The Dodge Momentum Index (DMI) made gains in January 2017, with 3.9% growth to 142.6, marking the new highest score in 8 years;
- Housing permits made gains in January 2017 to 1.3M, 8.2% above January 2016’s rate; both Single Family and Multi-Family permits made gains over the year;
- Housing starts increased in January 2017 by 10.5% from last year to 1.2M; Single Family starts were up 6.8% and Multi-Family starts were up 19.8% from last year;
- 555K new Single Family homes were sold in January 2017, 5.5% above the January 2016 rate;
- The second estimate of Q4 2016 GDP was unchanged from the first estimate of 1.9%. GDP growth for 2016 is estimated at 1.6% overall, also unchanged;
- Construction Put-in-Place was $1.18T in January 2017, 3.1% above a year ago activity. Gains in private construction activity were offset by contractions in public.
There’s also a regular series of construction safety videos. See this one, the most recent, as an example.
Overall, this is a truly impressive blog, worthy of bookmarking even if you don’t anticipate becoming an Oldcastle client (but I’m sure that one purpose of the blog is to build and attract new client relationships.)
Here is the live update of voting results.