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n Lofty Housing Prices Putting Communities Off Limits to Workers, Symposium Hears
n BuilderBooks.com Job Site Safety Survey — Your Opinion Counts
n South Carolina Builders Defeat Impact Fee Referendum
n Housing Snapshot
President's Message
n Building a Foundation for Workforce Housing
Housing Forum
n Freddie Mac Initiatives Address Workforce Housing
Workforce Housing
n Jackson Pledges to Dismantle Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing
n Former HUD Secretaries Address Workforce Housing Issue
n Working Families Losing Ground in Housing Market
n Partnerships Provide Local Solutions to Workforce Housing Needs
n Housing Supply Needs to Catch Up With Demand to Reduce Price Pressures
Housing and Economics
n Incomes in California Increasingly Lagging Behind Escalating Home Prices
Small Builders and Remodelers
n Should You Charge for an Estimate?
n CGRs Make A Difference, Especially When It’s All in the Family
Seniors Housing
n Security Is a Primary Concern of Seniors
n HUD Announces Program to Honor Communities for Reducing Regulatory Barriers to Housing
Green Building
n Texas Builders Raise the Standard for Residential Energy Efficiency
n Air Pollution Cut in Half, EPA Announces
Builders' Show
n Make Your IBS Plans by Dec. 17 — and Save
Commercial Builders
n YWCA Homeless Facility in Seattle Wins Top Commercial Building Award
n MasterFormat Retooled for Today’s Increasingly Complex Buildings
Women's Council
n Builders in Saginaw Visit Elementary School Classrooms
Building Systems
n New Courses Cover Cast-in-Place Concrete Foundations and ICFs
Business Management
n IRS Reduces Small Business Unemployment Tax Reporting Requirements
n ‘Find’-ing Your Way Through QuickBooks® Without Going Crazy
n Get Answers to IT Problems and Software Questions at New Builder Tech Forums at IBS
Building Quality
n Builders Report Profitable Results From Attention to Quality
n Scholarship Enables Job Corps Students to Start Housing Industry Careers
Building Products
n Fire Alarm System Uses a Single Pair of Wires
Builder's Engineer
n My Favorite Marketing Story
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Lofty Housing Prices Putting Communities Off Limits to Workers, Symposium Hears

On an issue of growing concern for the American public, …

Building News
From Coast to Coast

n Low-Income Housing Builders See Green

n Realtors Are Raising Home-Sales Forecast

n Study: Greening Raises Property Values by Double Digits

n Builders Sweeten Deals on New Homes

n Switching Off Bulbs for LEDs

n Mansion Amenities Are Trickling Down to Everyday Homes

n The American Dream Remains Strong

n Front Loaded; Laundry Rooms Rate as No. 1 for Home Buyers

See how Countrywide can streamline the process for Condo/PUD Project Approvals to help get you results.
Learn how easy it can be to borrow money the smart way with Countrywide’s Home Equity Line of Credit.

BuilderBooks.com Job Site Safety Survey — Your Opinion Counts

Are safety or environmental issues of concern to you? What information are you looking for to lower your business costs or increase profitability? 

Your opinion will help determine the type and quality of the information and training products that BuilderBooks.com produces. It will help ensure that BuilderBooks.com publishes the titles and information that you need.

Please take a few moments to complete an anonymous six-question survey about job site safety information and what format — books, video, DVD — would best serve you. To participate in the survey, click here.

BuilderBooks.com has more than 350 products available online and at regional tradeshows and the International Builders’ Show, offering books and software that cover such topics as construction management, codes, land development, sales and marketing, business management, economics and more.

BuilderBooks.com also has great holiday gift ideas, with NAHB and IBS merchandise available. To view or order them online, visit www.BuilderBooks.com.

Next Week: Everything You Need for the International Builders' Show

South Carolina Builders Defeat Impact Fee Referendum

Encouraged by a coalition of builders and industry interests, voters in the Myrtle Beach area’s Horry County, SC, last month shot down …

Housing Snapshot

Mortgage interest rates headed down last week as the financial markets reacted to negative news from the Labor Department on job creation in November, according to Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft. But Nothaft said he expected that a move by the Fed Open Market Committee this week raising its short-term interest rate to 2.25% would put upward pressure on adjustable rate mortgages. The general economy last week offered a mixed bag of news. Retail sales were up a slight 0.1% in November, but that was largely seen as an indication that sales during the crucial holiday season will see some impetus from consumers. Wholesale prices in November climbed 0.5%, a significant improvement over a 1.7% increase in October, but higher than the 0.1% that had been expected. Much of the improvement came from energy prices, which gained 1.8% last month compared to 6.8% in October. Natural gas prices were up; gasoline and home heating oil were down. Productivity growth was 1.8% in the third quarter, down from 3.9% in the second quarter, offering some hope that employers will soon be in a position where they have to hire more workers. New jobless claims were up for the second week in a row for the week ending Dec. 4, the Labor Department announced. On the lumber price front, upward momentum slowed during the middle of last week, according to Random Lengths. Framing lumber rose from $373 to $379 per 1,000 board feet, compared to $326 a year earlier. A record 46 billion board feet of lumber was available in the U.S. during the first three quarters of this year, Random Lengths reported, as production and imports rose to record levels and exports declined. Random Lengths' structural panel composite price climbed last week from $340 to $385 per 1,000 square feet.
Mortgage Interest Rates
30-Year Fixed-Rate 5.71%
15-Year Fixed-Rate 5.14%
1-Year ARM 4.15%
Housing Starts - Oct. 2004*
Total 2.027 million
Single-Family Starts 1.645 million
Multifamily Starts 382,000
New Home Sales
Oct. 2004*
1.226 million
Existing Home Sales
Oct. 2004*
6.75 million
* Seasonally adjusted annual rate

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