March 21, 2011
Nation's Building News

The Official Online Newspaper of NAHB

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Builders Urge Congress to Restore the Flow of Credit to Housing
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Some 500 builders converged on Capitol Hill last week for meetings with their senators and representatives during the annual NAHB Legislative Conference. Photos: Herman Farrer

At a crucial juncture for the nation’s emerging housing recovery, restoring the flow of acquisition, development and construction (AD&C) lending to sustain new housing activity took center stage on March 16 as 500 builders from across the country converged on Capitol Hill for the annual NAHB Legislative Conference.

“Our message to Congress is simple and straightforward,” said NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen. “Unless we resolve the ongoing credit problems for home builders — the vast majority of whom are small business owners who employ less than 10 workers — the industry will lose even more jobs, resulting in longer-term economic damage.”

NAHB members who were unable to attend the day-long conference participated by calling the Capitol Hill offices of their representatives and senators to deliver the same message.

In the current economic climate, lenders have basically stopped making AD&C loans and many are calling existing loans, even when the borrower’s payments are current. Financial institutions are also requiring additional equity for existing loans, and are refusing to modify loans to give borrowers an opportunity to regroup. ... Read More

Lumber Prices Provided by Random Lengths
Framing Lumber Composite $ 293 $ 3
OSB Composite $ 221 $ 8
Southern Pine Plywood Composite $ 431 $ 4
With permission from: www.randomlengths.com      
Layouts For Living
Floor Plans: Outdoor Entertainment Space Adds New Dimension to Lakeside Retreat
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The Retreat at Flathead Lake in Somers, Mont. Photos: Roger Wade Studio, Inc.

When the owners of a home along Flathead Lake in Somers, Mont., approached the design-build firm Greg Bain & Company about creating an outdoor entertainment space, they specifically requested the inclusion of a kitchen and dining/gathering area that would enable them to prepare meals for friends and family while also feeling like part of the lakeside activities.

To meet that challenge, the builder/architect designed and positioned an outdoor kitchen on the main level of the home overlooking the beach, sunning deck and boat dock and adjacent to the main level outdoor living room. 

The outdoor kitchen earned Greg Bain & Company the 2010 Best in American Living Awards Platinum award in the Interior Design: Specialty or Outdoor Room category.  ...... Read More

Citing Importance of Housing, Lawmakers Work to Ease Credit Woes
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Reps. Patrick Tiberi (R-Ohio), left, and Brad Miller(D-N.C.) Photos: Herman Farrer

Appearing at the National Housing Center on March 16 at the start of the annual NAHB Legislative Conference, Reps. Brad Miller (D-N.C.) and Patrick Tiberi (R-Ohio) pledged to work with home builders to help restore credit for housing production and get the industry back on track.

“Federal regulators are putting pressure on community banks to ratchet back,” said Rep. Miller. “There is a reflexive unwillingness to lend. That is killing jobs and killing the recovery.”

Rep. Tieri said he supported legislation — the Home Construction Lending Regulatory Improvement Act of 2011 — that was expected to be introduced shortly by Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) as a solution for addressing the regulatory obstacles preventing the nation’s home builders from having access to the credit they need.

Builders attending the conference called on House members to become original co-sponsors of the bill and they urged the Senate to introduce a companion measure. ...... Read More

HGTV Host of 'Holmes on Homes' to Speak at Green Building Conference in May
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HGTV's Mike Holmes

Mike Holmes, the host of "Holmes on Homes" and "Holmes Inspection" on HGTV, will be the keynote speaker at the opening session of the National Green Building Conference and Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Holmes’ keynote address will take place at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, May 2, at the Salt Palace Convention Center.

“Mike Holmes has a passion for high performance green homes,” said Doug Calvert, of the custom builder Mountain View Home Builder in Gainesville, Ga., and chairman of the National Green Building Conference and Expo Working Group. “He really connects with people with his message about the potential of green building.”

As the host of the popular HGTV programs that bear his name, Holmes advises home owners around the world on how to manage renovations, home repairs and maintenance.

A contractor who knows the importance of resourcefulness and craftsmanship, his experience in new-home construction and sustainable building has garnered him a growing fan base.

In 2006, Holmes was recognized in Canada’s House of Commons for his support for improved building standards and skilled trades. That same year, he also launched a charitable foundation in Canada to support the training of youths in the skilled trades through apprenticeships and scholarships. In addition, Holmes and his crew built a remarkable sustainable and hurricane-resistant house in New Orleans as part of Brad Pitt's “Make It Right NOLA” project. ...... Read More

Housing Snapshot
Interest Rates  
30-Yr. Fixed: 4.76% 15-Yr. Fixed: 3.97% 5 Yr. ARM: 3.57%
1 Yr. ARM: 3.17% LIBOR (3 months): 0.31% Prime: 3.25%
Housing Starts*  (February 2011)
Total: 479,000 Single: 375,000 Multi: 104,000
Home Sales*  (January 2011)
New: 284,000 Existing: 5.36 million  
Median Home Prices  (January 2011)
New: $230,600 Existing: $158,800  
* Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate

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