Permit Process Remains Top Industry Concern Even in Downturn
Working down unsold housing inventory and positioning businesses for an eventual return to a healthier marketplace are obviously preoccupations for a majority of the nation’s builders, but a range of issues unrelated to today’s cyclical downturn remain formidable challenges, according to the most recent Critical Issues Survey conducted by NAHB’s State and Local Government Affairs department.
Mortgage finance was the fastest growing concern for the executive officers at state and local home builders associations across the country who were asked to rate emerging and existing industry issues for the period of Sept. 2006 to Oct. 2007. The issue ranked 10th on the list of critical issues, but that was compared to a ranking of 51 in the survey for the previous year.
The development approval and permitting process remained the top critical issue for the housing industry for the past year, according to the survey findings, the same position it held in the previous annual rankings.
Development costs, which were third on the list last year, moved up to second place in the latest annual findings.
Availability of affordable housing and impact fees/development exactions ranked third and fourth on the list, respectively, followed by public attitudes toward growth in fifth place.
Ahead of mortgage finance and rounding out the top 10, the rankings found sprinkler requirement the sixth biggest concern for the industry, followed by codes regulation, builder-employer health care costs and zoning.
For more information on the Critical Issues Survey, or to receive the full survey results, e-mail Alex Strong at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8279.