While Helen Hanna Casey “literally grew up around the new-homes business,” she is quite clear that today’s new-home market is not like the one her father was a part of in the 1950s when he was executive director of the Builders Association prior to starting Howard Hanna Real Estate, the firm she is now president of. “Moving forward, we’re going to see different types of builders, different types of buyers and a different set of buyers’ desires and expectations.” Here, Casey shares why new-home construction just may be the motivation move-up buyers have been waiting for.
Teresa Walsh: First, tell me about your firm’s history in the new-homes market.
Helen Hanna Casey: New construction has always been an important part of the real estate business at Howard Hanna. My Dad was actually involved with the Home Builders before he started our company. In the early to mid ’50s, he was executive director of the Builders Association. Our first office was in an area of Pittsburgh where there wasn’t much new construction until the growth of condos in the late ’60s. We were the first company in our market area to open a condo division. While Dad himself was no longer involved in the Builders Association in the early years of Howard Hanna Real Estate, we maintained a close affiliation. I literally grew up around the new homes business.
TW: What opportunities do you see moving forward?
HHC: We expect to see growth in both new-home buyer and builder representation. With today’s tight inventory and growing buyer demand, we need to focus on new homes to satisfy the needs of the market. At the same time, builders are afraid to put up spec homes, which means agents need to apply new sales skills and strategies in this changing market. Moving forward, we’re going to see different types of builders, different types of buyers and a different set of buyers’ desires and expectations.