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    Sales of newly built, single-family homes remained virtually unchanged, inching down 0.6 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 618,000 units after upward revisions to the January, December and November reports, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

    “New home sales are at a steady level, which is consistent with our measures of solid builder confidence in the housing market,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel, a custom home builder from LaPlace, La. “As housing demand grows, builders need to manage increasing costs for labor, lots and building materials to keep their homes competitively priced.”

    “The recent upward revisions to the sales numbers reflect our forecast for a gradual strengthening of the single-family housing sector in 2018,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Demographic tailwinds point to higher demand for single-family homes in the months ahead. Combined with solid job market data, we expect more consumers to enter the housing market this year.”

    The inventory of new home sales for sale was 305,000 in February, which is a 5.9-month supply at the current sales pace. The median sales price of new houses sold was $326,800.

    Regionally, new home sales rose 19.4 percent in the Northeast and 9 percent in the South. Sales decreased 3.7 percent in the Midwest and 17.6 percent in the West.
    As the housing industry celebrates New Homes Month in April, recent data from the Census Bureau confirms that millennials are increasingly entering the housing market as first-time buyers.

    The homeownership rate of millennials—now at 36 percent—registered the largest gains among all age groups in 2017. As the nation’s largest demographic group, more than 70 million millennials are poised to dominate the home buying market in the months and years ahead.

    “Millennials are recognizing the benefits of homeownership and are eager to buy their first homes,” said National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Chairman Randy Noel, a custom home builder from LaPlace, La. “And contrary to conventional wisdom, this generation is in the market for single-family homes in the suburbs as they look ahead to raising their families.”

    Home builders recognize the changing demographics and the increasing demand for entry-level homes. Yet rising construction costs and limited lot availability create significant challenges to building smaller, single-family detached homes that are both affordable to first-time buyers and cost-effective for builders.

    With millennials willing to compromise on space, townhouses are offering a more affordable option for younger buyers ready to purchase their first homes. After experiencing a drop during the Great Recession, the share of new townhome construction has been rising since 2009. According to NAHB analysis of Census data, townhome construction in 2017 was up seven percent from 2016.

    Millennials also are looking for homes with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, outdoor space, flexible areas that can be used for a variety of purposes and more luxurious finishes, like quartz countertops.

    Ongoing economic growth and rising wages are expected to continue boosting housing demand throughout 2018. NAHB analysis of the Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy Survey shows that the number of home owner hous
    A new construction employment analysis from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) shows that 9.8 million people worked in construction in 2016, and more than 3.8 million of them worked in residential construction. These numbers reflect modest but steady job gains since 2011, when construction employment bottomed out. However, employment levels remain below the peaks reached during the housing boom in 2006, when more than 11 million worked in construction, and home building employed more than 5 million people.

    “While it is promising to see that residential construction employment is on the rise, it is still far below where we need to be to meet the increasing demand for housing,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel, a custom home builder from LaPlace, La. “We will continue to push for programs and policies that address the labor shortage, such as workforce development initiatives and comprehensive immigration reform.”

    NAHB’s analysis also shows the number of home building jobs across states and congressional districts.

    California tops the nation in employment of residential construction workers—more than half a million residents worked in home building in 2016. This number is still down significantly from the 2006 peak of 788,000, though. Despite being one of the states most severely affected by the housing downturn, Florida comes in second with 361,000 residential construction workers.

    Among the states hardest hit by the housing downturn and slowest to recover home building jobs are New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona, which still show job losses of 46, 43, and 41 percent, respectively, compared to 2006. Despite these significant job losses, home building in Nevada and Arizona continues to employ a relatively high share of local workers—more than 3 percent of the employed labor force.

    NAHB’s analysis indicates that the average congressional district has more than 8,800 residents working in residential co
    LendingTree conducted a new study that is sure to engage you if you are looking to find valuable information on current housing market trends. These markets are booming right now and represent a strong investment opportunity for prospective home buyers and a strong incentive to prospective sellers!

    LendingTree ranked the top 100 most competitive housing markets in the country, based on over 1.5 million purchase mortgage loan requests.

    Then each city was ranked on three criteria:
    1. The share of buyers shopping for a mortgage before identifying the house they want.
    2. Average down payment percentage.
    3. Percentage of buyers who have prime credit (above 680).

    This data could be very helpful in persuading prospective customers in hot markets to pull the trigger on a new home or to sell their current property.
    February 27, 2018

    The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) today called on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to expand its small business compliance assistance to help home builders and other small business owners to improve the safety of their operations.

    Testifying on behalf of NAHB at a House subcommittee hearing on “a more effective and collaborative OSHA,” J. Gary Hill, a custom home builder from Greensboro, N.C., and 2018 chairman of the NAHB Construction Safety and Health Committee, told lawmakers that reforming and improving how OSHA operates is a top priority of the housing industry.

    “In recent years, OSHA has unleashed a regulatory tsunami on the construction industry,” said Hill. “The significant growth in the number and scope of regulations, along with the associated costs of these regulations, has raised concerns from NAHB members about OSHA’s heavy-handed enforcement practices and procedures.”

    According to the Small Business Administration, federal regulations cost small businesses 60 percent more per employee than it costs large businesses, and compliance with these existing regulations can average as much as $7,000 per employee.

    “In our industry, a sizeable share of these regulations comes from OSHA, and the costs imposed by OSHA regulations are financially onerous to every aspect of the home building industry,” he said.

    Though facing prohibitive regulatory costs, Hill underscored that a top priority for small home building firms is to create a safe workplace environment for their employees. It also makes good business sense.

    “It is no secret that safety saves lives – and money,” he said. “We have learned that the money saved through reduced workers’ compensation costs, lost time due to worker injuries and less time spent on accident claims and reports can be converted into improvements in the way employers operate t
    The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) launched Safety 365, a new member and public awareness campaign designed to ensure that building industry professionals have the information and resources to help keep construction workers safe and help minimize accidents, injuries and deaths.
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