Legislative Session a Little Slow This Week
With Monday having been a holiday and Tuesday caucus night around the state, it’s been a little slow at the Capitol this week. There is much positioning going on and we have been hard at work building coalitions and communicating strategies. Here are a few items of interest:
HF 460 Drainage/levee districts Ag: Maxwell, Muhlbauer, Moore (undecided)
HF 2010 Common interest communities Jud: Brandenburg, Heartsill, Meyer (undecided)
HF 2011 Hourly wage increase Labor: Forristall, Murphy, Watts (against)
SF 2003 Rural improvement zones Local Govt: Brase, Schoenjahn, Sinclair (undecided)
SF 2017 Tax exemption wetlands Ways & Means (undecided)
Iowa Fourth District Congressman Steve King and District Representative Merlin Bartz met with HBAI Executive Officer Jay Iverson, BUILD-PAC Trustee Rich Fitch, and HBAI Secretary Mary Fitch yesterday morning at Rich and Mary’s office in Ames. It was a great meeting, lasting about 90 minutes and covering a wide variety of topics.
Party Caucuses Last Tuesday Sets Stage for 2014 Elections
Democrats and Republicans in Iowa attended their precinct caucuses around the state last Tuesday and reports of attendance were very good, especially in a non-presidential election year. The first order of business was to nominate delegates to the County Conventions to be held this coming spring. The election of delegates is particularly important in a contested primary and there are several, like the Republican U.S. Senate race, Republican Third District Congressional race, Democrat First District Congressional Race, and Republican First District Republican race. As the Election season nears, be certain to go to www.iowaprosperity.com to get non-partisan voter education and candidate information.
Scholarship Deadline March 31, 2014
Don’t forget that the deadline for our HBAI Educational Corporation scholarships is March 31. Any student pursuing a career in the home building industry and related trades, including immediate family members of HBAI members, is eligible. The fund is dedicated, but not limited to, college age students between the ages of 18 – 25 years.
The scholarship award shall be up to $1,000.00 per selected applicant. Multiple applicants are chosen each year to receive scholarships. Funds will be paid directly to the educational institution and shall ONLY be used for tuition and/or books. More information and forms are available here.
Unlock the Value of Membership
Fighting for housing on major policy issues, providing excellent educational programming, and creating outstanding networking opportunities are just some of the ways that NAHB fulfills that mandate. The proof of its success is in the numbers. In 2013, NAHB’s actions on the legislative, codes, regulatory and legal fronts, as well as in other arenas, provided members an estimated savings of $6,200 per housing start.
To help you learn more about the value of membership and to recruit and retain members at the state and local levels, NAHB has created a new website, valueofnahb.org. We urge you to visit this site, which highlights information and resources offered by NAHB that are designed to help you build a better home, build a better business and work in a policy environment that enables your business to thrive.
Did you know that:
- NAHB’s Member Advantage program saved our members $7.2 million in 2013.
- Earning an NAHB professional designation significantly improves the bottom line for builders and remodelers.
- The free expert legal advice and research available from NAHB saved members more than $450,000 last year.
This site is your key to unlocking the outstanding value that NAHB provides. Visit valueofnahb.org today and find out how NAHB is working to ensure an optimal business environment that will boost your bottom line.
Builder Confidence Remains Solid in January
Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes fell one point to 56 in January from a revised December reading of 57 on the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released on Jan. 16. This marks the eighth consecutive month that the HMI reading has been above 50, the point where more builders view market conditions as good than poor.
All three HMI components declined in January. The index gauging current sales conditions edged one point lower to 62, while the index gauging expectations for future sales fell two points to 60. The index gauging traffic of prospective buyers fell three points to 40.
Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast and West each rose four points to 42 and 63, respectively, while the South held steady at 56. The Midwest fell a single point to 58.
Commenting on the latest survey, NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said: “Rising home prices, historically low mortgage rates and significant pent-up demand will drive a continuing, gradual recovery in the year ahead.” However, he added, “The pace of the recovery could be stronger were it not for rising construction costs and inaccurate appraisals that are keeping some home sales from going through.”