Rock Products Logo
Now Incorporating Aggregates Manager

The Strategist

The Strategist

Time

By: Pierre G. Villere

It’s 2020. Goodness, where did the year go? I am positive the boxes of Christmas decorations that came out of the attic did not have any dust on them, as it seems they just went back up there weeks ago, not months. But most importantly, we stand on the starting line of the third decade of the 21st century, with a full 20 years behind us. How our industry has changed.

Read more: Time

The Coming Decade

by: Pierre G. Villere

In the mid-1990s, my wife and I attended a conference in Aspen, Colo., a voluntary effort on our part to hear one of the great thinkers and futurists of the last third of the 20th century who was shaking up politics and policy from Capitol Hill to Sacramento, and every place in between.

Read more: The Coming Decade

Home Builder Confidence Surges

The month of October was a time of contrasting, and therefore conflicting, economic news that can be unsettling at times. The month started with a report from the Institute of Supply Management, indicating its manufacturing index fell to 47.8 in September, the lowest level since June 2009, from 49.1 the prior month. Readings below 50 indicate contraction, while those above signify expansion. The August result marked the first drop in three years.

Read more: Home Builder Confidence Surges

No Relief in Sight for the Tough Labor Market

By: Pierre G Villere

The future holds great promise, as technology continues to disrupt traditional norms and methods in the construction industry in general, and in the aggregates industry in particular. The future for driverless haul trucks, robotics that will replace traditional loaders, use of drones for multiple functions at quarries operations, and all manner of improvements in materials crushing and handling are on the horizon.

Read more: No Relief in Sight for the Tough Labor Market

The Wealth Gap Expands and Consumer Debt Pinches Housing

By: Pierre G. Villere

The expanding wealth gap in America may explain why Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have centered their presidential campaign messages on this topic. Indeed, after studying these metrics, I was surprised by what I found.

Read more: The Wealth Gap Expands and Consumer Debt Pinches Housing

Scared Foreign Buyers Are Affecting Major Housing Markets

By: Pierre G. Villere

As the real estate market collapsed in the fall of 2008, when the financial crisis pushed us over the edge into the Great Recession, a quiet but interesting phenomenon started occurring within a couple of years in the largest markets around the country.

Read more: Scared Foreign Buyers Are Affecting Major Housing Markets

Home Shoppers Are Increasingly Active

By: Pierre G. Villere

Last month, I wrote about the lack of impact that Millennials are having on the housing market, one of the reasons that new home starts have not returned to even their annual historical averages dating back to 1961. But the National Association of Home Builders recently published some research that is very telling about the current state of the new housing market, attributable in part to a surprising drop in mortgage rates. And interestingly, Millennials are measured as being strongly in the mix.

Read more: Home Shoppers Are Increasingly Active