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Week of December 22, 2003

Front Page

President's Message

* 2003 – A Year to Remember

Housing and Economics

* Single-Family Home Starts Hit a Record High in November
* Following One of the Best Years Ever, Housing Poised for Solid 2004
* Builders Upbeat This Holiday Season
* Eye on the Economy

Multifamily

* FHA Multifamily Mortgage Insurance Programs Back in Business
* Index Finds Weak Rental, Strong Condo Markets

Environment

* U.S. Appeals Court Rules Against Regulation of Roadside Ditches
* Decision on Jurisdiction Over Isolated Wetlands Breeds Disappointment
* Court Rejects Endangered Species Permit Revocation Rule

State and Local

* New Jersey Builders Defang Governor’s Anti-Housing Tool with Economic Impact Study
* Legislative Group Endorses Favorable ‘Notice and Opportunity to Repair’ Amendments

Business Management

* Systematize the Selections Process to Avoid Hassles

Codes and Standards

* R-Values Excessive in Revised ASHRAE Energy Standard

Construction Safety

* OSHA Reports Increased Citations in Fiscal 2003
* Workers Should Take Precautions in Cold Weather

Seniors Housing

* Who Are Today’s Over-55 Buyers?

Legal Issues

* Ask the Lawyer – About Mechanic’s Liens

Housing Finance

* Military Housing Privatization Projects Coming Up in Florida, Oklahoma

Small Builders and Remodelers

* Why Have Your Customers Come to You?

Education

* New NAHB Course Addresses Insurance Liability Concerns
* First Annual National Designation Month Debuts in February

Labor

* New Publication Provides Overview of Basic Construction Principles

Building Systems

* Building Systems Councils to Include Concrete Home Building

Building Products

* Local Brick Distributors Provide Home Buyers With More Choices

Housing Forum

* Mysterious Cracking

Builders' Show

* Show Activities Focus on Sales and Marketing Professionals

Building News Coast To Coast

Association News & Events

* Notice of Annual Meeting of the Members of the National Association of Home Builders
* Find the Right NAHB Staff Faster Than Ever Online
* Bob the Builder Teaches Children About Safety
* Environmental Coloring Book Goes Online
* Northern Kentucky Remodelers Provide Holiday Cheer
* Builders in Southeast Virginia Launch General Liability Company
* One Home at a Time, Mississippi Builder Putting Working Families on the Road to the American Dream
* Calendar of Events

NBN Back Issues

 

Builders Upbeat This Holiday Season

Noting a strong finish to a record-breaking year for home sales, builder confidence in the new-homes marketplace remained unchanged in December from an upwardly revised reading of 70 in November, according to NAHB’s monthly Housing Market Index (HMI).

“Buyer demand is holding up well this holiday season, and single-family builders are pleased to be ending the year on such a high note,” said NAHB President Kent Conine.

“Looking forward, builders remain quite optimistic but are expressing some concern about the possibility of higher interest rates as the economic expansion continues,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders. That decline was responsible for some slippage in the future expectations component of the index in December.

NAHB is projecting that rates on long-term mortgages will rise gradually in 2004, approaching 6.5% by mid-year.


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The HMI is derived from a monthly survey of builders that NAHB has been conducting for nearly 20 years. Home builders are asked to rate current sales of single-family homes and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” They are also asked to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores for responses to each component are used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index, where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

The component of the index gauging current sales activity slipped a single point to 77 in December, while traffic of prospective buyers rose four points to 51 following a temporary dip in November. Sales expectations for the next six months declined five points to 76 following extraordinarily high readings in October and November.
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Nation's Building News Online is produced and distributed by the National Association of Home Builders