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State & National Updates Archives for 2017-07

Joint Employment Bill Gives Builders Clarity

Inside Washington

Joint Employment Bill Gives Builders Clarity

Legislation would reinstate sensible criteria for labor rule.

Department of Labor Seeks Comments on Overtime Rule

NAHB will submit a detailed statement.


5 Lessons from the S&L Crisis

Builders can still learn from the events that took place 30 years ago.

New Home Sales Edge Higher in June

Sales have risen nearly 11% since the start of 2017.


Across the Nation


Solar Mandate in Miami Raises Concerns

The requirement is the first of its kind in Florida.

South Carolina Builders Meet with EPA Leaders

Administrator Pruitt gives an update on the "waters of the U.S." rule.

Feds Bring Regulatory Roundtables to Kentucky, Ohio

Forums offer a great opportunity to discuss federal regulations.

Treasury Eyes Repeal of Burdensome Regulations

July 24, 2017

Industry Insight

NAHB and House Panel Reach Agreement on Flood Insurance Bill

Legislation addresses concerns of housing community.

Treasury Eyes Repeal of Burdensome Regulations

NAHB to weigh in on what rules need to be rescinded or modified.

EPA Formally Withdraws National Post-Construction Rule

NAHB gets a win in long-running battle against excessive stormwater regulation.

Remodeling Market Confidence Remains Positive

Lack of skilled labor remains a serious issue.


NAHB Highlights How Homes are Changing Lives

The Drive Home illuminates inspirational stories.

Better Appraisals on Green Homes

Updated tool can provide a more accurate assessment.

Education Programs Provide Inspiration, Second Chances

Workforce development grants make a difference.



Builder Confidence Remains Solid

A slight slippage due in part to rising material prices.

Single-Family Starts Bounce Back in June

Production was at its second-highest rate this year.


Job Growth Helps Propel Housing Demand

Job Growth Helps Propel Housing Demand


Despite growing supply-side concerns, housing demand continues to be sustained by healthy job creation and optimistic consumers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 220,000 jobs were created in June, with the unemployment rate increasing slightly to 4.4%. Moreover, home builders and remodelers added almost 116,000 jobs over the last 12 months.

Ongoing job creation has also helped support consumer optimism. The Consumer Confidence Index was up slightly in June, with one submeasure increasing to nearly 33% of respondents indicating jobs are plentiful. Incomes are also rising, with disposable personal income up 2.2% over the last year.

Economic challenges remain anchored on the supply side of the market, with a new softwood anti-dumping duty — in addition to existing countervailing duties — adding to builder costs. Moreover, the share of single-family home builders reporting shortages of framing lumber has increased to 21%.

For a midyear housing and economic market check, watch our construction forecast webinar, featuring NAHB's forecast and commentary from Moody's Mark Zandi and NAR's Danielle Hale.

NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz

Industry Insights

Builders Reporting Shortages of Framing Lumber

Ready-mix concrete and trusses are also increasingly in short supply.

Open Construction Jobs Decline in May

The labor market for construction workers remains tight as home building expands.

Lending and Spending


Residential Fixed Investment Reaches Near-Decade High

Housing's share of GDP holds strong. 

Private Residential Construction Spending Declines

The drop in May was the largest in three years.

Mortgage Rates Fall Again

Rates have slipped 18 basis points during the past three months.

Economic Indicators

Employment Gains Accelerated in June

Over the last year, home builders and remodelers have added 115,600 jobs.

Steady Growth in Personal Income

Disposable income in May had the largest monthly increase in two years.

How a Home Purchase Boosts Consumer Spending

NAHB analysis compares expenditures of new home buyers to non-moving home owners.


Monday Morning Briefing

Industry Insight

More Tariffs Slapped on Canadian Lumber Imports

NAHB denounces U.S. Commerce Department action.

EPA, Corps Act to Rescind WOTUS Rule

Agencies vow transparency in drafting replacement.


OSHA Delays Deadline to Dec. 1 for Electronic Injury Reporting

NAHB, other groups filed lawsuit challenging the requirement.

Confined Spaces Rule Clarified

NAHB fact sheet helps builders comply with standard.

July 13 Webinar Focuses on Fire Protection

Great tips to keep your jobsite safe from fire damage.




Home Buying Boosts the Economy

NAHB study shows impressive ripple effect.

Housing Demand in the Southeast Reaches 'New Normal'

The region is finding its sweet spot.

Digital Tools


Top 5 Mobile Apps for Home Builders

These tools help efficiently manage your projects.

Sales + Marketing Ideas Launches App

Get the latest ideas and trends on your smartphone or tablet.

Housing Headlines




Tight inventory slows down housing market

Vancouver, Washington, a bedroom community across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon, has seen its inventory of homes for sale shrink as the housing market picked up after the Great Recession and available homes got snapped up. First-time home buyers and others looking for affordable homes see the area as an alternative to Portland, where rents and home prices have soared in recent years.

Not even housing inventory crisis can stop homebuyers

It seems nothing can stop housing demand, which just hit a new high, according to Redfin, an online real estate brokerage.


Home-price growth sizzles in May, driving a wedge in the market

Home prices remained hot in May, bolstering owners' equity but locking many would-be buyers out of the market.

Mortgage applications rise 1.4%, defying higher rates

The math doesn't exactly make sense, but perhaps the sentiment does. More borrowers applied for home loans last week, even as interest rates made their largest five-day jump since just after the presidential election. Perhaps some thought it might be their last chance at low rates.

Why isn't the housing market booming the way experts expected?

Interest rates are near historic lows and consumer confidence is high, but the market isn't booming. One reason may be mobility: people moving from state to state is half what it was two decades ago.




The Washington Post
Trump's budget plans have already cut financial support for low-cost housing

The pool of private funds available to build or preserve affordable housing in the United States has shrunk by about $1 billion since November, and President Trump's tax plan is to blame — even though it hasn't been adopted yet.

Affordable housing market hurt by tax overhaul uncertainty

The prospect of Trump's tax overhaul has cut the value of low-income housing tax credits 10 to 15 percent. Funding for units across the U.S. is in question, and less housing will be built as a result.

The Washington Post
A surprising way to increase property values: build affordable housing

Despite the lawsuits, media spotlight and conventional wisdom, affordable housing developments built in poor, heavily black communities can lead to greater racial and income integration, according to new research by Stanford economists.

USA Today
Housing help for Congress? How about for people who really need it?

Just before he departed the House last week to become a Fox News contributor, Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz proposed a housing stipend for members of Congress. "I think a $2,500 housing allowance would be appropriate and a real help to have at least a decent quality of life in Washington," he said. "You shouldn't have to be among the wealthiest of Americans to serve properly in Congress."



National Mortgage News
'If not now, when?' Fed's Powell on GSE reform

Federal Reserve Gov. Jerome Powell, who heads the agency's supervisory committee, called on lawmakers Thursday to move more quickly in crafting legislation to reform the government-sponsored enterprises, saying that "we're almost at a now-or-never moment here." (Subscription may be required.)

American Banker
Will housing finance reform hurt small banks?

The battle over the future of housing finance may turn on whether whatever reforms or replaces Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will bypass small banks, delivering more market share and power to the biggest banks. (Subscription may be required.)

Two major lending changes mean it's suddenly easier to get a mortgage

Two major changes in the mortgage market go into effect this month, and both could help millions more borrowers qualify for a home loan. The changes will also add more risk to the mortgage market.




U.S. News & World Report
The pros and cons of live-in home flipping

Mindy Jensen and her husband Carl have made up to $100,000 every two years by buying a house, fixing it up while living in it full time and then selling it for a profit. Call it live-in flipping.

Las Vegas Review-Journal
Universal design makes homes accessible and pleasing

In our 40s, we've accepted the aches and pains that remind us we're no longer 25. That said, the last thing we want to think about is how our health might look in our 60s and 70s, much less what living accommodations we might need to handle our changing physical abilities.




Why Washington can't fix the new housing crisis

Donald Trump campaigned on restoring the "American dream," a 1931 metaphor for economic success that has become political shorthand for homeownership. But as president, Trump faces a unique challenge delivering on that promise: The country is in the grip of a new kind of housing crisis that Washington has virtually no power to solve.



Construction Dive
Labor Dept. plans revision of stalled overtime rule

The U.S. Department of Labor has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to confirm that it is permitted to use salary as a factor in determining which workers are eligible for overtime before it begins a new rulemaking process to amend a pending overtime regulation, according to Bloomberg BNA.




Appraisers may be holding back the housing market, and that might be okay

I want to warn you from the top, this is a highly speculative post in multiple directions at once. I have a theory as to what is holding back the housing market, and another theory as to why that might be a good thing. There isn't a lot of data to back up either claim, and I wouldn't elevate other above conjecture at this point. But stick with me anyway.