Housing Starts Up Sharply In March
New THIS Month
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EVENTS & EDU
Builder/Inspector Meeting May 12th | 8:30AM N CHS City Hall
CLASS: Culpeper Primed Trimed Boards May 12th | 10:30AM ZOOM Link
CLASS: Frame for Success
May 19th | 9:00AM
May 2021 GMM: Government Update May 25th| 9:00AM ZOOM Link
IN THE NEWS
Housing production rebounded in March as buyer demand remains solid due to low mortgage interest rates. Overall housing starts increased 19.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.74 million units, according to a report from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. This was the fastest pace for combined single-family and multifamily construction since June 2006.
The March reading of 1.74 million starts is the number of housing units builders would begin if development kept this pace for the next 12 months. Within this overall number, single-family starts increased 15.3% to a 1.24 million seasonally adjusted annual rate. When comparing the first quarter of 2021 to the first quarter of 2020, single-family starts are up 19.6%. The multifamily sector, which includes apartment buildings and condos, increased 30.8% to a 501,000 pace.
On a regional basis compared to the previous month, combined single-family and multifamily starts are 64% higher in the Northeast, 122.8% higher in the Midwest, 13.5% higher in the South and 13.6% lower in the West. The gain in the Midwest is likely weather-related.
Building the Future of the Lowcountry
Lumber Adds $36K to Cost of New Home
Soaring lumber prices that have tripled over the past 12 months has caused the price of an average new single-family home to increase by $35,872, according to new analysis by the NAHB Economics team. This lumber price hike has also added nearly $13,000 to the market value of an average new multifamily home, which translates into households paying $119 a month more to rent a new apartment. The latest Random Lengths prices as of the week ending on April 23 show the price of framing lumber near $1,200 per thousand board feet – up nearly 250% since April 2020, when the price was roughly $350 per thousand board feet.
A recent study by the Federal Reserve
Bank of New York found that most households view housing as a good investment compared to the stock market.
Asked to choose between investing in a rental property or the overall stock market, more than 50% of households recocom- mended housing in all three administra- tions of the New York Fed survey, which was run in February 2020 (largely before the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States), October 2020 and February 2021.
Another question asks whether a young couple should buy a primary residence or invest in the stock market and the preference for housing is much stronger in this response with more than 90% of the survey respondents choosing to buy a home.
In selecting housing as a better investment over stocks, most survey respondents cited “desired living environment and provides stability” and “housing prices less volatile” as their primary reasons.
Northwestern Wins 2021 Solar Decathlon Residential Contest
People View Housing as a Better Investment than Stocks
The 2021 Solar Decathlon Design Challenge – a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) collegiate competition that tasks students with designing low-carbon, high-perform- ance buildings powered by renewable energy – marked the competition’s 19th year, with the first ever Virtual Village on the National Mall featuring nine builds with 3D renderings, diagrams and videos for each university’s project.
Of the 72 competing teams, representing 12 countries, Northwestern University was named the grand winner for the Residential Divisions and the University of Oregon was named the grand winner of the Commercial Divisions.
Northwestern University’s NuHome is a delicately balanced design that accounts for site challenges such as harsh winters and humid summers in Chicago, and a narrow footprint shaded by three-story buildings on both sides (making solar access more difficult for residential solar photovoltaics).
Despite these constraints, the student team was able to incorporate high-performance features such as a tight thermal envelope, highly efficient HVAC system, natural lighting and graywater reuse system. The design strategically reduces thermal bridging and effectively manages moisture (preventing mold and improving indoor air quality), and achieves
a remarkable EUI rating of 12 and a HERS score of -22.
As a proud sponsor of the Solar Decathlon, NAHB congratulates all the student teams and faculty for their hard work, innovative solutions, outstanding projects and, most of all, for leading the charge in the next generation of housing. See DOE’s press release for a full list of winners from this year’s competition.
Remodeling Confidence Strong
NAHB released its Remodeling Market Index (RMI) in the first quarter of 2021, posting a reading of 86, up 38 points from the first quarter of 2020. The finding is a signal of residential remodelers’ confidence in their markets for projects of all sizes.
The RMI survey asks remodelers to rate five components of the remodeling market as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The Current Conditions Index is an average of three of these components: the current market for large remodeling projects, moderately- sized projects and small projects. The Future Indicator Index is an average of the other two components: the current rate at which leads and inquiries are coming in and the current backlog of remodeling projects. Any number over 50 indicates that more remodelers view remodeling market conditions as good than poor.
Who Are NAHB Builder Members?
NAHB’s recently published 2020 membership census reveals that the typical builder member today is a 57-year-old small business owner with a median number of five employees, a median five housing units started in 2020 and a median gross revenue of $2.6 million.
More than six out of 10 NAHB builder members are single-family builders, according to the NAHB census.
Of the 37,595 builder members, 63% are single-family builders (spec/tract, custom, or general contracting), 22% are residential remodelers, 5% each are land developers and commercial builders, and 4% are multifamily builders. Fewer than 2% each are commercial remodelers and manufacturers of modular/panelized log homes.
For a full list of life board members, visit our website hbacharleston.com
DHS Approves Additional H-2B Visas
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that it will issue an additional 22,000 H-2B guest worker visas over the coming months. Of these additional visas, 6,000 will be reserved for workers from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
Given the chronic labor shortages facing the home building industry, NAHB has been urging both Congress and DHS to expand the number of H-2B
visas available each year.
May 12th | 8:30AM
N CHS City Hall
CLASS: Culpeper Primed Trimed Boards
May 12th | 10:30AM
CLASS: Frame for Success
May 19th | 9:00AM
May 2021 GMM: Government Update
May 25th| 9:00AM
For a full list of events from now until the end of the year, visit our website at hbacharleston.com
If you have any questions, contact Ashley at firstname.lastname@example.org
FEMA Releases Details On Risk Rating 2.0
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently released new details outlining the implementation schedule for Risk Rating 2.0, an initiative to transform the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to make it better reflect the actual risks properties face.
The new Risk Rating 2.0 changes the way FEMA rates a property’s flood risk and prices flood insurance.
NAHB Spring Meetings
Will Be Done Virtually
NAHB’s Spring Leadership Meetings, taking place June 14-18, will again be conducted virtually.
Subcommittee sessions, and some select committees, will meet in advance of the Spring Leadership Meetings.
As the housing industry continues to face unprecedented challenges, including soaring lumber prices, these meetings are an important opportunity to connect with fellow members and receive important industry updates.
View a tentative schedule.
NAHB Puts Emphasis on Mental Health
NAHB has launched two new tools designed to identify and understand mental health issues before they become urgent. First is an online screening tool that enables members to take an anonymous self-assessment and, depending on the outcome, connect them with appropriate services to address mental health and/or addiction issues. Second is the JustFive NAHB portal, which helps members learn more about substance abuse disorder.