Weekly Update: July 27, 2017

Waterloo HBA members in Des Moines

   A dozen members and spouses of the Cedar Valley HBA (Waterloo/Cedar Falls area) hopped on a bus to tour the Des Moines HBA Home Show Expo on July 20.  In the inset bus photo left to right:  Lori Larson, LGC Companies; Lindsay Varney, Surface Solutions; Stephanie Wright, LGC Companies; and Cedar Valley HBA President Adam Hunemuller – faithfully guarding the coolers.  The trip was sponsored by Kyle Knapke, James Hardie Building Products.  A great idea!

Great Article in Des Moines Register about our Mike Rowe Event

Preparations for the Iowa Trades event with Mike Rowe September 28 are going very well.  Without even officially offering it up yet, we’ve sold over 40 tables and have 120 school officials planning to attend.  We also have a number of significant sponsorships in the works.  Mark your calendar and more details will be forthcoming, including possibly holding closed circuit simulcast events in localized areas.  There was a good article in the Des Moines Register that was unsolicited by our group – check it out here.  To find out how you can help, contact Jay Iverson.  Here’s the latest flyer – circulate it as far as you can!

Certified Aging in Place Specialist Course

The Greater Des Moines Area HBA is offering a Certified in Place Specialist course August 17-19 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the HBA Office, 6751 Corporate Drive, Johnston.  The cost is $630 for members and $800 for non-members based on a minimum attendance of 10 participants.  For more information on CAPS, click here. Email Jessica Verwers to RSVP for this three-day course.

Webinar – Taking Tile Beyond the Bath

Tile today doesn’t belong just in the bathroom. It can be put to excellent use in living rooms, fireplaces and as decorative accents indoors and out.  The webinar Beyond the Bath, happening Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2-3 p.m. ET, will focus on current bathroom trends and how you can take tile ideas into the rest of the home.

The speaker, Marc Thee of Marc-Michaels Interior Design in Boca Raton, Fla., will also discuss new neutrals, graphic patterns and how the “five elements in nature” inspire him to create designs for every home in his role at a design firm repeatedly named one of the nation’s best by Interior Design magazine.

Space is limited to the first 100 participants. Register before 3 p.m. ET (12 p.m. PT) on Tuesday, August 1.  NAHB Continuing Education: 1.0 hours of continuing education credits for the following 12 designations: CAPS, CGA, CGB, CGP, CGR, CMP, CSP, GMB, GMR, Master CGP, Master CSP, MIRM.

Apply to Serve on 2018 NAHB Committee or Council

The online application for the 2018 NAHB committee and council board of trustees appointments are now being accepted. We strongly encourage all those who may be interested to submit an application. Applications must be submitted before Sept. 22, so don’t delay.

Current committee and council members are reminded that you need to re-submit an application this year if you want to continue serving; there are no automatic multi-year appointments. It is important that you read all of the criteria on the application before submitting your request.  Please direct any questions about the committee appointment process to Cyndi McKinley (800-368-5242 x8346).

   This has been out for a little while, but it’s a super cool 10 hour time lapse in 3 minutes of an Amish barn raising in Ohio.  Amazing coordination and craftsmanship.


2018 Best of 55+ Housing Awards is Open

Builders who sell homes to people 55 and older – and that’s most builders – are eligible to enter this awards competition. The entry process is streamlined and fees are reduced for NAHB and 55+ Housing Industry Council members. The awards close on Aug. 15. Learn more and contact Lynn Basso with questions.

New Home Sales Expand Moderately

Sales of new single-family homes rose 0.8 percent in June 2017 to 610,000 as reported jointly by the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The June increase reflected a downward revision to the estimate of new home sales in May. If the May sales number remained at its initially reported level of 610,000, then sales would have been unchanged.

However, additional information suggests that nationwide sales are expanding. Sales are 9.1 percent above their level 12 months ago. At the same time, on a year-to-date basis (Jan-Jun 2017), sales are 10.9 percent above their pace over the first half of 2016.

Regionally, the nationwide gain in sales over the month reflected a 12.5 percent increase in the West, and a 10.0 percent increase in the Midwest. Sales in the Northeast were unchanged while they fell by 6.1 percent in the South. Over the past 12 months sales recorded double-digit growth in the Northeast (41.4 percent) and the West (33.3 percent). Meanwhile sales rose 0.9 percent in the South, but fell 12.0 percent in the Midwest during this time period.

New home inventory has also risen. The inventory of homes rose 1.1 percent to 272,000 over the month of June. This level is also 11.9 percent above the inventory in June 2016. Because the pace of growth in the number of homes for sale exceeded the number that were sold, the months’ supply also rose. Over June, the months’ supply increased by 1.9 percent to 5.4 months, 3.8 percent higher than one year ago. Nevertheless, the months’ supply, which measures the number of months it would take to exhaust the inventory at the current sales pace, remains below the healthy 6.0 benchmark.

The median sales price fell 3.4 percent over the past 12 months on a not seasonally adjusted basis to $310,800. However, because sales have been trending upward, this decline may reflect a compositional shift rather than an erosion in market fundamentals. Over the past 12 months the proportion of new home sales priced below $300,000 rose 3 percent to 47 percent. Conversely, sales at prices $300,000 and above fell 2 percent to 53 percent. The difference in the changes likely reflects rounding.

At the halfway point of 2016 most indicators suggest that sales continue to expand. The year-to-date increase remains consistent with NAHB’s expectations for sales over 2017. At the same time, months’ supply has expanded, due more to an increase in inventory of homes as opposed to a sales decline. Despite the increase, the months’ supply remains low, partly as a result of challenges faced by builders, and could erode some growth in new home sales.

2018 HUD Appropriations

Last Tuesday, the Senate-T-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee approved $40.24 billion in appropriations for HUD for fiscal 2018, which starts Oct. 1. This is an increase of $1.4 billion above the current level.  Of note to the housing community, the bill provides $3 billion for the Community Development Block Grant formula program, which is $100 million above the funding level proposed in the House T-HUD Appropriations legislation.

The Senate spending bill also includes $950 million for the HOME program in fiscal 2018, which is also $100 million above the House counterpart.  Of particular interest to the multifamily developers, the Senate appropriations package provides $21.37 billion for Section 8 Tenant Based Rental Assistance, ($1.07 billion above the fiscal 2017 level of $20.29 billion), and $888 million above the $20.49 billion earmarked in the House bill.

The Senate spending measure allocates $11.5 billion for Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance,  an increase from $10.82 billion for the current fiscal year and $42 million above the House proposal of $11.08 billion.

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