Weekly Update: June 8, 2017

NAHB Legislative Conference Next Week

We will have at least 21 Iowans represented at the NAHB Midyear and Legislative Conference meetings next week in Washington D.C.  On June 14, we’ll ask federal policymakers to move forward on several key issues, including reducing regulations that harm small business, reforming the nation’s housing finance system, protecting tax incentives, promoting sensible energy codes and more.  Here is our schedule for June 14 – 100% connectivity with our legislators!

  • Congressman Young – 10:30 a.m.
  • Congressman King – Noon
  • Congressman Blum – 1:00 p.m.
  • Senator Ernst 2:00 p.m.
  • Senator Grassley – 3:30 p.m.
  • Congressman Loebsack – 5:00 p.m.

NAHB has developed videos and a brochure detailing these issues and they are of vital interest for home builders and the housing industry. Thank you for all of your efforts to make sure the home building industry – a key driver of the nation’s economy – thrives.

Watch the videos

Read the brochure

For more information about NAHB’s 2017 Legislative Conference, visit nahb.org/legcon.

The Aging Workforce Does not Help our Labor Scarcity

A scarcity of labor remains an important headwind for home builders and the entire construction industry. NAHB analysis of the most recent 2015 American Community Survey (ACS) data reveals that the median age of construction workers is 41, which is the same as the median age of the overall labor force.

As home building continues its recovery, there are significant labor market developments. Unfilled jobs in the construction sector have been on a generally rising trend. Moreover, while the residential construction sector has been adding net jobs, nearly 714,600 more positions since the low point of employment after the Great Recession, home builders continue to cite labor shortage as a top business challenge. The median age of construction labor shows regional patterns. States with older construction workers are in the Northeast and parts of the Midwest. For example, the median age of construction workers is 47 in the state of Vermont, followed by 46 in Rhode Island, and 44 in Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Construction workers are younger on average in the central part of the nation. Half of all construction workers in Nebraska, and Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming are under 38 years of age.

The ACS data also permit an examination of median age by occupations. The medians are presented by occupations below. Construction occupations with younger workers include helpers, roofers, and equipment operators. Older workers are concentrated in managerial positions such as inspectors, construction supervisors and construction managers.

  The Ames Parade of Homes kick off party Tuesday night at First National Bank was a great time.  Over 80 members were signed up.  Near perfect weather, great food, drink, and networking – how can you beat that?

HBA of Greater Siouxland Classes

The HBA of Greater Siouxland is offering the following upcoming training classes at the HBA/Sioux City Construction League Office.  Click here for complete class details.

  • 4-hour Lead-Safe Renovator Training – Tuesday, June 20th  1pm – 5 pm
  • Initial 8 Hour Lead-Safe Renovator Training – Friday, June 23rd  8 am – 5 pm
  • First Aid & CPR Training – Monday, June 26th  10 am – Noon
  • Hydronics & Plumbing Safety – Friday, June 30th  (4 CEU’s available) (Hydronics – 8 am – 10 am) (Plumbing 10 am – Noon)

Pre-Registration is required for all classes by calling 712-255-3852.

Weekly Update: June 1, 2017

Executive Order Expanding Floodplain Still in Play

Congressmen Blum, King, Loebsack & Young Contacted

In February 2015, President Obama signed an executive order (13690) that would arbitrarily expand the definition of “floodplain” well beyond the long-accepted 100-year floodplain.  As part of the Climate Action Plan, each agency was directed to create their own definition to account for future flood risk, using one of three options: 500-year floodplain, freeboard approach or using climate-informed science (see attached one-pager for more information).

This grossly expands the historical definition of a floodplain that is accepted by the government, industry and communities across the country and is based on risk and scientific assessment. We are concerned about the future of new housing developments, the redevelopment of existing and construction will occur.

One of the big problems with this E.O. is that FEMA periodically maps the entire country based on the 100-year floodplain and these new definitions would not include any new mapping.  It is unclear how builders will know what developments are in or out of these new floodplains.  Even more confusion will arise if each agency creates their own unique, possibly conflicting definitions.

Sen. Cochran and Rep. Abraham have authored a letter to OMB Director Mick Mulvaney and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, asking for E.O. 13690 be revoked and all related rulemakings, regulations or guidance be rescinded and are looking for additional signatories.  We strongly encourage our Iowa congressmen to sign on to this letter as well.

This issue can easily be resolved, but we need Congress to weigh in with the Administration to highlight its importance and ensure it is a priority.  Read more about it here.

Who are NAHB Members?

The 2016 annual member census conducted by NAHB reveals that 60% of our builder members are single-family builders, 23% are residential remodelers, 6% are commercial builders, 5% are multifamily builders and 4% are land developers. Commercial remodelers and manufacturers of modular/panelized/log homes each comprise 1% of the builder members.

Overall, 32% of NAHB’s members are builders who are directly involved in home building while the remaining 68% are associate members who work in support industries and professions such as trade contractors, manufacturers, retailers/distributors, designers and architects.

As NAHB economist Carmel Ford explains in a recent Eye on Housing blog post, NAHB conducts the yearly census to better understand the composition and characteristics of the members who belong to our organization.

NAHB’s builder members reported that they had a median of five employees on payroll in 2016. A further breakdown of the number of workers on payroll is as follows:

  • No employees: 3%
  • One employee: 14%
  • Two to four employees: 31%
  • Five to nine employees: 24%
  • 10 to 49 employees: 24%
  • 50 or more employees: 4%

In 2016, builder members started a median of six housing units. In 2008, the first year the member census was conducted, builders reported starting a median of four units. The median then slipped to three units between 2009 and 2011, but gradually increased thereafter. It rose to four units in 2012, and was five units between 2013 and 2015.

The median dollar volume of builder members in 2016 was $2.4 million, barely under the median dollar volume reported in 2015 ($2.5 million) and the second highest median dollar volume since the start of the census in 2008.

The median age of NAHB builder members is 56. More than half (53%) have either a college or an advanced degree.  View the full article that profiles each type of NAHB builder member.

   Thanks to HBAI President Tim Ruth for making three school presentations to our scholarship winners.  It’s great to get our name out in front of the other students, parents, and school officials.  Shown is Caleb Statler.

Member Advantage Discounts

Your 3-in-1 membership includes an exclusive program from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) called Member Advantage. This offers you ways to reduce expenses, increase efficiency, and maximize profits through discounts on products and services with leading, national companies. To learn more about these discounts and how to access the savings go to NAHB Member Discounts. Click here for an overview of all discounts.

Don’t Forget About Your Travel Benefits

We just received our first report from Snazzy Traveler on member travel.  There was about $12k in booked hotel rooms so far in 2017.  Interesting that there were no cruises or flights.  As a member of Home Builders Association of Iowa you have the Snazzy Traveler travel benefit program to take advantage of and you can save 10-75% below other travel websites, just by using Snazzy Traveler.

If you have not registered, simply go to, www.snazzytraveler.com/HBAIowa  and use your promo codeHBAIowaTravel2017 to open your free account.  Make sure that you hit the “redeem” icon after you enter the code, or else it will appear that it wants $99 for a membership.  It’s free to you though – and you can also offer this benefit to your friends, family, employees and clients.

Let them open their own accounts today and start saving tonight, by just giving them the promo code.  What better way to show your appreciation to them for making your business a success.  Go on, you deserve to get away and save money at the same time.

$6,148 is the Average Remodel – New Report

Home owners who remodel in 2017 will spend an average of $6,148 on each project, according to NAHB’s recent projections of spending by ZIP code for each of over 26,000 ZIP codes across the United States.

Average spending per improvement will range from under $2,300 to over $22,000.

California, Texas, Florida, New York and Illinois are projected to have the largest total spending by home owners on remodeling projects statewide. Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland and the District of Columbia are projected to have the highest spending on remodeling per home.

To determine these by-ZIP code estimates, NAHB looked at the number of homes in the area, the share of those built in the 1960s and 1970s, and owners’ average income and level of education.

You can purchase the datasets on nahb.org to determine how much home owners will spend. For more insights, read the full article in the NAHB Eye on Housing blog from NAHB economist Paul Emrath.