Industry News

Home builders eye big year in ’06 despite slowing demand

Financial ratings service urges caution with condos

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Major home builders are in line for another big year in 2006, according to Fitch Ratings, an international ratings agency, though the condominium market does present cause for pause. "The greatest concerns would be about the condo market. It's an area that appears to be more vulnerable. In some markets that is a substantial part of the housing market and the housing inventory," said Robert P. Curran, a Fitch analyst, during a Friday teleconference. Curran presented the findings of "The Chalk Line," the latest report on the home-building and construction sector. Florida, in particular, has many condo units under construction, Curran noted. "(Condos are) a more commodity type of product ... than is the case with single-family detached, and I think it does present a greater relative risk." Curran also said that the overall housing market appears to be changing in the greater Washington, D.C., area. "It is clear that demand has moderated a bit. I think part of that is a reflection of the...