Builder Confidence in Single-Family Market at Record High
In a sign that housing continues to lead the economy forward, builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes increased six points to 78 in August, according to the latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The HMI now stands at its highest reading in the 35-year history of the series, matching the record set in December 1998.
Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 35 years, the NAHB NAHB NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores for each compon- ent are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view condi- tions as good than poor.
All the HMI indices posted gains in August. The HMI index gauging current sales con- ditions rose six points to 84, the compo- nent measuring sales expectations in the next six months increased three points to 78 and the measure charting traffic of prospective buyers posted an eight-point gain to reach its highest level ever at 65.
Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast jumped 20 points to 65, the Midwest increased 13 points to 63, the South rose 12 points to 71 and the West increased 15 points to 78.
Who Are NAHB's Associate Members?
NAHB’s 80,000 Associate members are an important part of membership. The largest share of Associate members, 43%, are subcontractors or specialty trade contractors. Roughly 13% work in professional fields such as accounting and engineering, and 11% work in retail dealerships. About 8% are employed in financial services, 4% work in wholesale distributorships, and 20% listed “other associate” as their primary activity.
Consider Serving On
An NAHB Committee
NAHB invites all members in good standing to consider serving on a committee or council board of trustees. These groups meet in person during the Spring and Fall Leadership Meetings and at the International Builders’ Show to discuss legislative and regulatory news, industry trends and more, and to make informed policy recommendations to NAHB’s Board of Directors. The 2021 application period is open until Oct. 30, 2020.
An Online Success
NAHB Education has adapted quickly to COVID-19's effects on the classroom, and is now offering its intensive, full-day designation courses – such as those for the Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) professional designation – on a virtual platform.
The designation courses are commonly offered through HBAs. The transition has been a success for students, instructors and HBAs offering the courses, because more people can attend from their home or office.
Fannie, Freddie to Delay Refinance Charge
After strong opposition from NAHB and many other housing, consumer advocacy, and banking groups, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced Aug. 25 that it has ordered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to delay until Dec. 1, 2020, the implementation of a new 0.5% surcharge on mortgage refinances.
The government-backed mortgage guarantors on Aug. 13 announced they would charge an additional 0.5% fee on refinanced mortgages they purchase beginning Sept. 1 due to “market and economic uncertainty” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lumber Prices Up 130% Since April
Lumber prices have risen more than 130% since mid-April. As a result, the average cost of lumber in a typical new single-family home has gone up by $13,500 and by $5,100 in a typical multifamily home.
NAHB is asking Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to re-engage with Canadian officials to achieve a long-term agreement on softwood lumber. NAHB is also asking the U.S. Lumber Coalition to find ways to address shortages in the domestic lumber supply chain.
We’re looking for sponsors for our 4th Annual Trade Show and Chili Cook Off on Tuesday, October 13 from 5-8 PM and Casino Night on Tuesday, November 10 from 5:30-9:30PM.
We are excited to bring these events to our members again! If you have participated in the past, you know these events are extremely popular and well-attended.
This year, the events will be held at Club 52 at Greyhound Park on Wickham Rd in Melbourne. The 16,000 SQFT space will allow for greater social distancing.
Click here for the Chili Cook Off Entry and Sponsorship Form
Click here for the Casino Night Sponsorship Form
Please complete the form and email to Sandy at email@example.com to reserve your spot. Only a few sponsorships are left for Chili Cook Off!
Thank you for your support of the HBCA!
NAHB is once again endorsing candidates for the U.S. House and Senate in the upcoming Nov. 3 elections. NAHB endorses candidates who have shown a commitment to policies that promote homeownership and rental housing opportunities for all Americans.
NAHB makes all of its endorsement decisions in concert with the state and local home builders associations (HBAs) of the lawmakers under consideration.
To date, NAHB has endorsed 82 candi- dates, including 72 in the House and 10 in
the Senate. Many of the endorsements were made for primary elections. NAHB will continue to work with its state and local HBAs to announce additional endorsements and updates based on primary results.
As the nation deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, NAHB encourages all voters to prepare now to ensure your vote counts on Election Day. You can check your state’s voter registration deadlines and mail-in voting rules on vote.org. The organization also has a listing of voting changes made by each state in response to COVID-19.
Year-Over-Year Gains in Permits
Over the first six months of 2020 – and after the onset of the impact of the coronavirus – total single-family permits issued year-to-date nationwide reached 433,484. This is a 3.8% increase over the June 2019 level of 417,453.
Year-to-date ending in June, single-family permits across the four regions ranging from an increase of 6.5% in the South to a decline of 1.7% in the Northeast. In multi- family permits, the South reported a 3.1% increase while the other three regions reported declines – Northeast (-14.7%), Midwest (-6.2%), and West (-5.6%).
Between June 2019, and June 2020, 34 states saw growth in single-family permits while 16 states and the District of Colum- bia registered a decline. South Dakota recorded the highest growth rate during this time at 36.7% from 1,178 to 1,610.
Building Products in Construction
NAHB analysis of government data indicates that new single-family and multifamily construction used about $94.9 billion in building products in 2019.
Although the vast majority of that amount was produced domestically, supporting jobs in the U.S. manufacturing sector, roughly $6.1 billion was imported from other countries.
Among the major product categories, new residential construction in 2019 used more than $11 billion each of cement and concrete products and architectural and structural metals.
Other products toward the top of the list were plastic products, household furniture and kitchen cabinets, paints, plywood and engineered wood products, household appliances, HVAC and refrigeration equipment, and electrical equipment.
NAHB Again Endorsing Pro-Housing Candidates for Congress