Milwaukee, Sacramento at opposite ends of price-per-square-foot index
Twenty-three of 25 metro market areas tracked in a May home-price report saw declines in price per square foot compared to a year ago, real estate data and analytics company Radar Logic reported today.

The Sacramento, Calif., market area led the nation in price decline with a 31 percent year-over-year drop in the price per square foot between May 2007 and May 2008, to $154.49, according to the RPX Monthly Housing Market Report, which is based on values of a daily price-per-square-foot index during a 28-day period in May. Las Vegas followed with a 29.5 percent price-per-square-foot loss to $123.94, and San Diego posted the third-largest decline, down 27.2 percent to $237.78 PSF.

Only one of the 25 metro areas — Milwaukee — saw an increase in its price per square foot: up 1.1 percent, to $123.76.

According to RPX, "indicative pricing on forwards contracts suggests weakness through 2009, stability in 2010, and recovery in 2011."

Residential construction spending in 15-month slide
Residential construction spending fell for the 15th straight month in June and was down 44.9 percent from its record peak in March 2006, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today.

Spending on privately owned residential construction projects dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $327.5 billion in June, down about 1.8 percent from May and down 26.7 percent compared to June 2007. It was the lowest rate since October 2001, when it stood at $371 billion. This rate is a projection of a monthly total over a 12-month period, adjusted to account for seasonal variations in construction activity.

Total construction spending, including public and private construction projects, hit an annual adjusted rate of $1.08 trillion in June, down about 0.4 percent compared to May and down 5.9 percent compared to June 2007, the Census Bureau reported.

‘Green’ building movement grows
McGraw-Hill Construction researchers say that "green" construction will be worth $12 billion to $20 billion in 2008, or 6 percent to 10 percent of the market. Researchers expect those numbers to double within the next five years, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Since the program’s launch in 2000, the U.S. Green Building Council has awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification to 1,500 buildings. Among the qualifications is that buildings lower operating costs, reduce waste sent to landfills, conserve energy and water, and are healthier for occupants. The council is planning to extend the certification program to neighborhoods and subdivisions as well, according to the report.


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