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State & National Updates Archives for 2017-03

Optimism among single-family builders this month is the strongest it has been since 2005.

Builder Confidence Highest in Nearly 12 Years

 

Optimism among single-family builders this month is the strongest it has been since 2005. Much of this positive sentiment stems from the widely anticipated reductions of government regulations. A prime example was the recent executive order to roll back the Waters of the United States rule that affects builders' and developers' wetlands permits. However, we can expect some moderation in builder confidence in the months ahead, as interest rates rise and headwinds persist for access to lots and labor.
 
As expected, last week the Federal Reserve increased the short-term federal funds rate for just the third time in the post-recession era. Much of the Fed's stance is fueled by a strengthening labor market, which added 235,000 jobs last month. As the rate of inflation approaches the 2% target rate, NAHB forecasts two additional rate hikes this year.
 
Additional price pressures can be seen on the supply side of the industry. Gypsum prices have increased more than 6% in the first two months of 2017, and softwood lumber prices rose almost 5% due to the ongoing lumber trade dispute between the U.S. and Canada. As housing starts continue to rise in the months and years ahead, additional sources of lumber will be required.
 
NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz


Labor


Job Growth Continues for Builders and Remodelers

Unfilled jobs decreased in numbers as hiring accelerated.


Employment Situation in February: Fits Like a Glove

Labor report aligns well with the Fed's intention to raise interest rates. 


Are Young Construction Workers Worth Your Time?

Builder survey reveals the potential effects of hiring a less-experienced crew.

 

Finance


Home Equity Reaches a New Peak

Real estate holdings climbed more than $1.5 trillion in the past year.


Non-Mortgage Consumer Debt Slowly Grows

Shrinking credit card debt was outweighed by an increase of student and auto loans.


FOMC: Economic Outlook is Meeting Expectations

As anticipated, the Fed recently announced yet another rate increase.


Prices and Production


Solid Gains for Starts

February's pace for single-family homes was the fastest since 2007.


Consumer Price Index Rose Slightly in February

A decline in energy prices partially offset increases in other areas.


Gypsum Products Lead Price Increases Among Building Materials

Price jump for softwood lumber the biggest in four years.


Absorption Flat for Apartments, Jumps for Condos

The median asking rent significantly increased from 2015.


Trends


Builder Confidence Reaches a Cycle High

Optimism hasn't been this strong since 2005.


How 'Green' is the Average Builder?

Single-family builders typically use 10 different green products or practices.

 


The Weekly News Digest of the National Association of Home Builders

Economics


Construction Costs on the Rise

Softwood lumber, gypsum, OSB and concrete prices up in February.


Builder Confidence at a 12-Year High

Trump's move to roll back regulations buoys builders. 


Single-Family Starts Highest Since Late 2007

Production expected to grow throughout the year. 

 

Inside Washington


Trump Proposes $6 Billion Cut to HUD

President's spending plan is first step in negotiations with Congress. 

 

Green Building


Builders Rank the Most, Least Popular Green Practices

More buyers are zeroing in on energy efficiency. 


Home Appraisals to Include HERS Scores

The change should help in the valuation of above-code energy improvements.
 

 


Environment

 

POTUS to WOTUS: You're Fired!

President Trump's directive requires EPA to reconsider waters of the U.S. rule.

 

Yes, You Still Need a Permit

A Q&A on what builders need to know about WOTUS.

 

Inside Washington

 

Trump Delivers an Important Message to Home Builders

NAHB Chair Granger MacDonald meets one on one with the president.

 

Congressional Leaders Urged to Adopt Strong Housing Agenda

Senior officers detail housing priorities.

 

House Votes to Overturn OSHA Volks Recordkeeping Rule

The focus now shifts to the Senate.

 

NAHB Honored for 'Get Out the Vote' Campaign

Our grassroots efforts wield considerable influence on Capitol Hill.

 

Industry Insight

 

Have Gypsum Prices Found a New Normal?

Trend has been stable since 2015.

 

Use These Free Flooring Installation Guidelines

Don't get saddled with expensive insurance claims.

 

Association Update

 

Celebrate National Designation Month

Completing NAHB courses helps your business and your bottom line.

 

IBS 2017 Education Session Recordings Now Available

Find out what some of the industry's best experts have to offer.