How the Fed Rate Hike Affects Housing
Housing affordability last quarter was at a 10-year low, and it appears that conditions at the start of 2019 aren’t likely to improve much.
The Federal Open Market Commit- tee recently raised its target for the federal funds rate (the interest rate at which banks lend money to each other) by 25 basis points. This was the fourth rate hike of 2018. However, experts predict interest rates will rise at a less aggressive pace next year.
Arbor Design Group
Contractors of West GA
Southland Ins. Agency
Metro Garage Door
Caliber Home Loans, Inc.
Hartley, Row & Fowler
R. Chris Collier
WHBA MEETING INFORMATION
Tuesday, January 8th, 11:30-1:00
The Olive Tree - Villa Rica
150 Stone Street
Villa Rica, GA 30180
CLICK HERE FOR RESERVATIONS!
Sponsor & Program: Greystone Power (1/2 CEU Credit)
Trump Advances Opportunity Zones
Nissan North America and NAHB are excited to present members, their employees and HBA staff with the opportunity to purchase a new Nissan or Infiniti vehicle using exclusive incentives for members through the NAHB Savings Program.
Click here to learn how to take advantage of this great member savings benefit.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) on Dec. 14 published a final rule that streamlines the home warranty require- ments for FHA single- family mortgage insurance.
The rule eliminates the regulations that require borrowers to purchase 10-year protection plans in order to qualify for certain mortgages on newly- constructed single-family homes.
This final rule becomes effective March 14, 2019.
Save Money on Nissan or Infinity
NAHB Recognized for Lobbying Clout
“The Hill,” a prominent Capitol Hill publication, recently named NAHB CEO Jerry Howard to its list of elite Washington power players. Although “The Hill” highlighted one person from each organization listed, Howard noted that his inclusion represents the hard work of many individuals.
“The fact that NAHB is recognized as one of the most power- ful trade groups is a testament to the shared efforts of our members; the NAHB staff, most notably Chief Lobbyist Jim Tobin and his government affairs team; EOs; councils and all those who work on behalf of the association to keep housing at the forefront of the national agenda,” Howard said.
The Trump administration in December released its proposed new definition for “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) that will resolve years of uncertainty over where federal jurisdiction begins and ends. This represents an important victory for NAHB members.
Under the proposed rule, short-lived ponds, streams and tributaries that only flow in response to a rain event would be excluded from federal regulation. The rule would also exclude wetlands not directly connected to federally- regulated bodies of water.
The action honored a campaign promise President Trump made to the NAHB Board of Directors in 2016 when he was running for office.
The new rule announced today will be open to a public comment period for 60 days and it is expected to be finalized and instituted in all 50 states by the fall of 2019.
EPA Proposes New WOTUS Definition
Could Be a $2.5 Billion Tax
Could Be a $2.5 Billion Tax Court
FHA Publishes New Home Warranty Rule
President Trump on Dec. 12 signed an executive order to spur more investment in opportunity zones, a type of economic development incentive created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
Opportunity zones seek to incentivize investment and economic development in under-served communities. Developers may use a Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund to help fund projects located within an oppor- tunity zone. This new source of investment dollars could prove to be a powerful economic tool if properly administered.
Congress on Dec. 12 passed the 2018 farm bill that includes key NAHB-supported for- estry provisions from Rep. Bruce Wester- man’s (R-Ark.) forestry bill to implement critical forest management reforms that will help improve the health of the nation’s forest system and reduce America’s reliance on foreign sources of timber.
The bill would also increase funding for the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program to empower rural communities to restore effective forest management and improve forest health. It also contains several provisions in the Timber Innovation Act that will support the development of timber products for building construction.
NAHB fought hard to ensure the farm bill contains a forestry title in order to increase the supply of domestically produced timber from federal lands.
Employers Must Use New I-9 Form
Survey Finds Most Americans See Affordability Crisis
NAHB's Meeting of the Members
Make plans to attend NAHB’s annual Meeting of the Members, 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the Westgate Hotel in Las Vegas during the International Builders’ Show.
This meeting provides NAHB members an insider’s view of the association's advocacy priorities and gives them a voice in setting those priorities. Attendees also learn about how to take advantage of NAHB’s many membership benefits and have the opportunity to network with other professionals in the housing industry.
NAHB Chief Economist Rob Dietz will update members on the industry outlook. Randi Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, will be the keynote speaker.
Already registered for the International Builders' Show? Click here to register for the Meeting of the Members.
Key Forestry Provisions in Farm Bill
Nearly three out of four American households believe that the nation is suffering a housing affordability crisis, and a majority of respondents reported this is a problem at their local and state level as well, according to a recent nationwide survey conducted on behalf of NAHB.
More than 2,200 adults were surveyed Nov. 27 through Nov. 30 to assess the public’s attitude on whether a lack of affordable housing is a problem in their neighborhoods, cities, states and nationwide. The poll cuts across partisan, regional, demographic and socio-economic lines. Among its key findings:
73% of respondents believe that a lack of affordable housing is a problem in the U.S.
68% believe this is an issue in their state, and 54% cite housing affordability as a concern in their neighborhood.
58% said that if they decided to purchase a home in the near future, they would have trouble finding a home they could afford in their city or county.
Nearly a third of America’s 119 million house- holds are cost burdened and pay more than 30% of their income for housing, based on NAHB analysis of 2017 Census data.
Patenaude Resigns as HUD Deputy Secretary
After 14 months on the job, Pam Patenaude has resigned
as deputy secretary of HUD. FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery will serve as acting deputy secretary.
NAHB had a good working relationship with Patenaude, who during her time as deputy secretary helped guide HUD through a number of challenging issues and showed strong leadership in addressing housing and community recovery in areas impacted by natural disasters.
NAHB will continue to maintain a very positive working relationship with Montgomery in his new role.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 10 agreed to hear a case that has widespread implications for how courts handle challenges to federal agency regulations.
The case, Kisor v. Wilkie, addresses the issue of whether courts should defer to an agency’s interpretation of its own regulations, known also as Auer deference.
NAHB supported the petitioner with an amicus brief as part of a proactive strategy developed to identify cases that put this issue squarely before the Supreme Court.
NAHB has long been concerned with this type of judicial deference because it can create incentives for agencies to avoid formal rulemaking processes or create vague regulations that they can later interpret however they see fit. Either tactic prevents home builders and other industries from participating in developing rules that govern their activities.
Supreme Court to Hear Agency Deference Case
Make the Most of Pre-Show Education
WHBA offers its membership many opportunities to promote their company and advertise their business. Many include the sponsorship of out Monthly e-Newsletter, Website sponsorships, General membership Meeting Sponsorships and Event Sponsors such as Golf tournaments and other Non-dues revenue events. Contact WHBA at 770/355-6714 for more information .
Would you like to learn how to better manage your company, discover the latest techniques in high-performance building, or work toward an NAHB professional designation? Then take advantage of NAHB’s Pre-Show Education offerings, taught Feb. 16-18, just before the NAHB International Builders’ Show begins.