Weekly Update: April 17, 2014

Parade Judging! Want to Have Some Fun Checking out Great Ideas?

 The 2014 Parade of Homes Committee for the Greater Iowa City Area Home Builders Association is looking for judges on June 3, 2014.  33 entries have been submitted for the parade.  The homes are in scattered site locations in Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, and Johnson County. Estimated judges needed 15.  Homes range in price from $200,000 to over $1 Million.  Representatives that agree to judge for Iowa City Area Parade should not supply product or work directly with our parade builders.
  
Details:
 A breakfast is planned at 7:30 am., June 3, 2014, at the River City Beefstro, Coralville in the board room. All judges and drivers will meet at this location.  You will be given a few brief instructions and will be assigned a driver to take you to the homes.  Packets and guidebooks will be sent after we receive your commitment to participate.  Lunch is provided and it should take about half of a day. Hotel arrangements can be made for members traveling a long distance if needed.  Please contact Joandirectly if you are interested in helping to judge our parade homes.  Thanks in advance for helping.

 

The Legislative Session Should End Next Week

Work is still underway at the Statehouse as everyone tries to finish up their priorities and end the session on a positive note for election purposes.  There has been a flurry of activity as Governor Branstad signed quite a few new laws into play.  We are continuing to pay close attention to how this final portion shakes out – we wouldn’t want anything to pass just because it was attached to another bill that may or may not be related.  Here are the items of interest that may affect you: 

 

HSB 646            Homestead property tax credit; passed sub, support 3/7

HF 2094            Statute of repose/HSB 504; 2/27 passed House; sub 3/5

HF 2108            Property tax assessment/HSB 508; 2/12 passed House

HF 2129            Cap gains ex for sale of stock, sm bus/HSB 502; 3/4 passed sub; support 3/7

HF 2230            Vehicle permits/const permits on ag land/HF 2059;

                   2/25 passed House; 3/26 passed Senate           

HF 2317            Veterans homeownership fund/HSB 617; support 2/26

HF 2321            Commercial property tax

HF 2344            Drainage/levee districts/HF 460   3/31 sent to Gov

HF 2408            Excavator notification requirements/HSB 518; 3/26 signed by Gov; against 2/26

HF 2411            St/local govt powers/eminent domain/HF 289

HF 2452            First time homebuyer tax credit/HF 2353/HSB 638; 3/26 passed House

HF 2453            Historic preservation tax credit/HF 2415/HSB 624; 3/26 passed House;

                    SSB 3142 and SF 2281        

HF 2448            Econ dvlp/jobs prgm/housing tax incentives; 3/26 passed House

                    HSB 542/HF 2305

SSB 3205          Homebuyer sav acct/HSB 638/HF 2353/HF 2452   3/18 sub

SSB 3214          Wages paid by debit card; 4/3 sub

SSB 3215           Approps for rebuild IA infrastructure fund

SF 366              Radon testing/mitigation in schools/SF 49; passed Senate 2013; against 2013;                               3/18 passed House with amend: S-5084; back to Senate for floor vote      

SF 431              Solar income tax credit; passed Senate 2013

SF 2017            Tax exemption wetlands

SF 2034            Tornado resistance infrast prgm/HF 2100

SF 2085            Real property enhancement/HF 2057

SF 2091            co-ownership/SSB 3082  3/31 sent to Gov

SF 2191            financing work drainage districts/SF 2055; 3/26 signed by Gov

SF 2242            Vets home ownership assistance/SSB 3178; 3/3 passed Senate; support 3/7

SF 2256            Redevelopment tax credits/SSB 3050

SF 2265            Vehicle regist/levee/SSB 3140/HSB 605/HF 2273

SF 2273            Trustees of ag land in dranage districts/SSB 3172; 3/31 sent to Gov

SF 2317            Job training/apprenticeship prgms

SF 2335            Business tax credit/corp income tax

SF 2339           Redevelopment tax credits/SSB 3050/SF 2256; 3/26 passed Senate;

                HSB/HF 2415/HF 2453; 4/1 passed House                       

SF 2340            Solar income tax credit/SSB 3201; 3/27 passed Senate

SF 2343            Renewable energy tax credit/SF 2032; 3/27 passed Senate

 

Builder Confidence Solid – Hopefully That is Your Feeling Too…

It’s awesome to hear in the media that the market is up significantly because of home building reports from our federation – that was the case last Tuesday, April 15. Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes rose one point to 47 in April from a downwardly revised March reading of 46 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). 

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current 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 from each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

The HMI index gauging current sales conditions in April held steady at 51 while the component gauging traffic of prospective buyers was also unchanged at 32. The component measuring expectations for future sales rose four points to 57.

 

First Quarter Rebate Forms Available

It’s just crazy that more of our members do not take advantage of one of the easiest and best programs that we offer – so that there’s no confusion, it’s not related to the NAHB benefit package.  Looking through our Iowa list of participants, over $126k dollars have been rebated back on products that you are probably using.  The average rebate per Builder or Remodeler for 2013 was $915.23.  We have several Iowa members who collected over $3k in 2013, and they weren’t huge builders.  This is a great program that potentially pays for your membership dues many times over.  For more information, click here.  To obtain and fill out your quarterly form, click here

Iowa Economy Draws More Out-of-Staters

Iowa has traditionally possessed one of the highest rates of native born people in the country, but the homegrown population is on its first sustained decline since 1980. And that’s probably good news. Just 71 percent of Iowans were born in Iowa, according to new census data. That’s the lowest percentage in over 20 years-when it stood at 78 percent.

The native-born percentage within counties is closely tied with the size and employment prospects of those counties. Polk, Linn, Johnson, Scott and Pottawattamie Counties all had lower percentages-hovering in the high 60s-than the state’s average and have experienced larger job growth in past 20 years. The same trend is seen nationally: Cook County (Chicago), Los Angeles County (Los Angeles), Alameda County (San Francisco), Clark County (Las Vegas), El Paso County (Denver) and a smattering of counties around Washington D.C. have native-born percentages that barely reach above 40. Rural counties across the country have percentages approximating Iowa’s, often pegged at around 90.

 Even though Iowa moved up the ranks, it still sits at sixth for homegrown residents behind Louisiana (79 percent), Michigan (77 percent), Ohio (75 percent), Pennsylvania (74 percent) and Mississippi (72 percent). The national, county-based map shows lower percentages in the western U.S. than the east-suggesting more Western migration than the other way around. (It could, of course, also suggest that mothers in those counties preferred to give birth across state lines.) 

Polk County saw a net domestic in-migration of 2,838 people, according to the one-year estimates for 2012. Linn County, which has overall population growth largely due to birth rates, saw a net domestic out-migration of 440 people.

Iowa benefited from a slight net population growth of 15,377 people, according to the 2012 estimate, and experienced a net gain of workers from outside the state in 2013. The data suggests that at least part of the migration is attributable to international populations migrating into the state. The one-year Census estimate shows that international migrants outpaced those from within the U.S. by sevenfold: 4,143 to 671.

 

Flood Insurance Legislation: Over $1 Billion in Savings

We told you previously about the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014, recently enacted legislation championed by our Federation that will provide a significant boost to home building and remodeling as well as certainty and financial stability to the National Flood Insurance Program.

The numbers are in on the legislation, and NAHB’s experts estimate that in 2014, the new law will result in a total of more than $1 billion of housing market activity, including:

  • $755 million in new home construction because the new law makes it easier for prospective new home buyers to sell their existing home and trade up.
  • $361 million in additional remodeling activity because the legislation eliminates insurance costs that some home owners would have been required to pay on certain remodeling jobs.

The recently enacted legislation provides a more affordable rate structure for policyholders and repeals the requirement that flood insurance premiums increase immediately to full actuarial rates when homes are sold. It also restores “grandfathering” for properties that were paying premiums applicable to their initial flood risk rating, allowing owners to pay premiums based on the original risk zone rather than updated flood risk zones.

In addition, the legislation requires the Federal Emergency Management Agency to take local flood control structures into account during the remapping process and provides reimbursement for successful consumer map appeals. It also restores the “substantial improvement threshold” that triggers a higher flood insurance rate to the historic 50 percent of a structure’s fair market value, which is important for many remodelers.

 

Weekly Update: April 10, 2014

White Birch HOA Case Update

We received notification late last week that the Iowa Supreme Court Case of the Village at White Birch Town Homeowners Association vs. Norandex Building Materials Distribution, Inc. and Wolf Construction Commercial was affirmed by operation of law.  The court was equally divided, which automatically defaults to the affirmed by operation of law.  Basically we were victorious right now.

This case was a really interesting one and had strong leadership and financial support from the Greater Des Moines HBA, HBAI, and the NAHB.  The suit was brought forward when the general contractor of the development filed for bankruptcy and the HOA attempted to sue the subcontractors with alleged negligence and breach of the implied warranty of workmanlike construction.  The case number is 11-1842.

The Session End is Near – Working Hard on a Balanced Budget

There has been substantial progress made for passage of a balanced budget.  The House is moving forward and several components of that are in the Senate awaiting consideration.  There were many attempts to push through budget-busting amendments or adding other new obligations for the state amounting to tens of millions of dollars, but so far it’s been fought and everything seems to be advancing.  There are mixed reports of an end date to the session, perhaps next week or the week after.  Our next legislative call will be Monday, April 14 at 10:00.  Here are the items of interest that may affect you: 

HSB 646            Homestead property tax credit; passed sub, support 3/7

HF 2094            Statute of repose/HSB 504; 2/27 passed House; sub 3/5

HF 2108            Property tax assessment/HSB 508; 2/12 passed House

HF 2129            Cap gains ex for sale of stock, sm bus/HSB 502; 3/4 passed sub; support 3/7

HF 2230            Vehicle permits/const permits on ag land/HF 2059;

                   2/25 passed House; 3/26 passed Senate           

HF 2317            Veterans homeownership fund/HSB 617; support 2/26

HF 2321            Commercial property tax

HF 2344            Drainage/levee districts/HF 460   3/31 sent to Gov

HF 2408            Excavator notification requirements/HSB 518; 3/26 signed by Gov; against 2/26

HF 2411            St/local govt powers/eminent domain/HF 289

HF 2452            First time homebuyer tax credit/HF 2353/HSB 638; 3/26 passed House

HF 2453            Historic preservation tax credit/HF 2415/HSB 624; 3/26 passed House;

                    SSB 3142 and SF 2281        

HF 2448            Econ dvlp/jobs prgm/housing tax incentives; 3/26 passed House

                    HSB 542/HF 2305

SSB 3205          Homebuyer sav acct/HSB 638/HF 2353/HF 2452   3/18 sub

SSB 3214          Wages paid by debit card; 4/3 sub

SSB 3215           Approps for rebuild IA infrastructure fund

SF 366              Radon testing/mitigation in schools/SF 49; passed Senate 2013; against 2013;                               3/18 passed House with amend: S-5084; back to Senate for floor vote      

SF 431              Solar income tax credit; passed Senate 2013

SF 2017            Tax exemption wetlands

SF 2034            Tornado resistance infrast prgm/HF 2100

SF 2085            Real property enhancement/HF 2057

SF 2091            co-ownership/SSB 3082  3/31 sent to Gov

SF 2191            financing work drainage districts/SF 2055; 3/26 signed by Gov

SF 2242            Vets home ownership assistance/SSB 3178; 3/3 passed Senate; support 3/7

SF 2256            Redevelopment tax credits/SSB 3050

SF 2265            Vehicle regist/levee/SSB 3140/HSB 605/HF 2273

SF 2273            Trustees of ag land in dranage districts/SSB 3172; 3/31 sent to Gov

SF 2317            Job training/apprenticeship prgms

SF 2335            Business tax credit/corp income tax

SF 2339           Redevelopment tax credits/SSB 3050/SF 2256; 3/26 passed Senate;

                HSB/HF 2415/HF 2453; 4/1 passed House                       

SF 2340            Solar income tax credit/SSB 3201; 3/27 passed Senate

SF 2343            Renewable energy tax credit/SF 2032; 3/27 passed Senate

State of Iowa Revenues Much Stronger Than Expected

March state revenue numbers were much stronger than expected – general revenues up 4.3% over last year and sales tax is up $11.5 million more this year than last year at the end of March (+8%).  The Revenue Estimating Conference predicted corporate income tax rising 5.4%, but it is at 5% and falling a little short of projections.  All good signs for our state’s economy.

   We had yet another excellent “Bringing Housing Home” meeting with Senator Chuck Grassley at his office at the Federal Building in Des Moines last Friday.  As always, Senator Grassley is very supportive of our issues.  Participating in the meeting, from left to right are: Senator Grassley, Keith Butz, Drew Retz, Rich Fitch, and LaDonna Gratias.  Also present was HBAI Executive Officer Jay Iverson.

Bringing Housing Home

We’re nearing the end of the Bringing Housing Home campaign, with only one meeting remaining with Congressman Braley at the Cedar Rapids HBA office on April 17 at 3:00 p.m..  Here is a copy of the PDF of the brochure that we’re handing out.  Please email Jay Iverson if you’d like to participate in the remaining meeting.

Member Rebate Program on Facebook

Our Member Rebate Program is on Facebook – you can click here to check it out. Over 70% of our members had rebates that more than paid for their annual HBA dues. It’s super easy to do – HBAI has some members who are rebated $5-8k annually, and they’re not huge builders either.

 

Lake Erie Walleye Tournament Anyone? 

There is a window of opportunity to participate in a walleye fishing tournament on Lake Erie at the beginning of next month.  It’s such a busy time of the year for everyone, but it’s worth thinking about.  There is an opening for a team of six or an opportunity to fill an existing team with four more individuals.  The openings are a result of cancellations.  It’s an Iowa based deal, with most of the teams from Eastern Iowa and several more from Central.  It’s a great time, inexpensive, and there are great prizes like $1,500 cash for the largest walleye each day.  It’s all guided and everything is included.  This is Jay writing this and several years ago I participated in it every year.  I think most of the years I won enough prizes or prize money to pay for the trip.  My largest walleye was 36″ long, a monster post-spawn female.  Fish in the 30-32″ category are not uncommon.  Email me if you have any interest and I can get the details to you.