NBN Online for the week of April 5, 2010

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In This Issue:

Front Page
Builders Face Health Reform Without Onerous Provision
Some Relief From Lofty Lumber Prices Is on the Way
BALA Design Trends and Photos: Simplicity and Exquisite Details
Use Free NAHB Online Tools, Opportunities to Sell Homes in April
New Resources Available for Membership Day Recruitment Drive
Coast to Coast
Spurt of Home Buying as End of Tax Credit Looms
Politics & Government
Senate Panel Approves Financial Overhaul Bill
House Subcommittee OKs Home Star Energy Retrofit Bill
Mark Your Calendar for the 2010 NAHB Legislative Conference
Economics & Finance
Commercial Loan Limits Could Worsen Housing Credit Crunch
New Home Sales Gain Little Traction in February
Eye on the Economy: The Weather Disrupts the Housing Numbers
Spring Construction Forecast Conference Moves Online
Useful Links to Monitor Economic and Housing Trends
Builders’ Tip: Affixing Router Templates to Surfaces
Nonresidential Construction Remains Weak in February
Millennials Are Rising, Home Builders Need to Follow
Foreign Buyers Are Energizing the Southern California Market
50Plus Housing
Long-Time Chicago Residents Have New, Livable Homes
Webinar to Present 50+ Buyers Changes in Today’s Market
Proposed FHA Underwriting Changes Raise Concerns
NAHB Has Sample Contract Language for Lead Paint Rule
100-Year-Old Home Enters 21st Century Better Than New
Promote Remodeling With NAHB ‘May Is Remodeling Month’ Toolkit
Remodelers Only Have a Few Weeks to Prepare for Lead Rule
Apply for NAHB Remodelers Awards
Survey Identifies Hottest Outdoor Living Trends for 2010
Free Webinar on Custom Home Builder Trends on April 7
Building Systems
Log Home Mill Recycling Effort Slashes Landfill Waste
Education Calendar
Green Building
Lakeside Home ‘Outrageously Green’ With Rustic Surprises
National Green Building Conference Set for Raleigh in May
Proposed Ozone Rule Would Constrain Economic Growth
Builders Bracing for Chesapeake Bay Clean-up Rules
Resources on Liability Issues Available to Members Online
Harvard Program Looks at Securing Chinese Finance
Workforce housing
Buying a Home Still Out of Reach for Many Key Workers
Building Products
JELD-WEN Honored as Energy Star Partner of the Year
Broan Introduces Solar-Powered Attic Ventilator
NAHB-Produced Programs on the DIY Network
Endowment Funds IBS Student Scholarships for 2011
Association News
Spring Board Last Chance for Spokesperson Training in 2010
NAHB Spring Board Meeting April 18-23 in Washington
To Mom With Love With an FTD 20% Discount to Members
HP Business AdvantEdge Laptop — $399 for NAHB Members
Members, Save on Reservations From Hertz
Calendar of Events
NAHB Career Center

Top Story

Builders Face Health Reform Without Onerous Provision

Just one week after landmark health care legislation became the law of the land, President Obama on March 30 signed a second reconciliation bill with “fixes” to the health care measure that include the elimination of an onerous provision targeting the construction industry.

NAHB worked closely with lawmakers to ensure that one of the changes incorporated in the second “corrections” measure (H.R. 4872) would strike a provision in the original health care bill (H.R. 3590) offered by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) requiring construction firms to provide health coverage if they employ five or more workers.

Lumber Prices Provided by Random Lengths

Framing Lumber Composite $ 328 up $ 9
OSB Composite $ 315 up $ 31
Southern Pine Plywood Composite $ 517 up $ 18
With Permission from: RandomLengths.com

Some Relief From Lofty Lumber Prices Is on the Way

Lumber prices in recent weeks have appeared to defy gravity, rising swiftly at a time of relatively sluggish demand from the home building sector, but NAHB economists remain confident that some relief is on the way as supply problems are alleviated.

The weekly Random Lengths composite index for framing softwood prices has exceeded $300 per 1,000 board feet since the beginning of February. The last time that price level was reached was the first week of July 2008 and the preceding month of June, when single-family homes were being started at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 655,000, compared to a rate of 499,000 this March.


BALA Design Trends and Photos: Simplicity and Exquisite Details

Simplicity of form inside and out and exquisitely detailed custom homes that bring the outdoors in are among the six design trends noted in the 2009 Best in American Living Awards (BALA) — the nation’s foremost residential design competition ― according to judges who analyzed the hundreds of BALA entries submitted.

Other hot trends seen in the BALA entries and discussed during a press conference at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas earlier this year include:

  • Creative, contemporary solutions for rental projects
  • Infill projects that target specific market niches
  • Green technology that is more effectively integrated with quality architectural design
  • A wide variety of architectural styles, but less regionalism

A total of 67 winners in 37 categories were selected in the BALA competition, many of which exemplified one or more of the trends noted by the judges. The six major trends include:


Use Free NAHB Online Tools, Opportunities to Sell Homes in April

April is the last month for home owners to qualify for the $8,000 and $6,500 home buyer tax credits — and it is also New Homes Month.

The home buyer tax credits and the spotlight on new homes provide great opportunities for builders to show new customers the benefits of homeownership before the tax-saving opportunities disappear.

Late last year, the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit was extended and a new $6,500 repeat buyer tax credit was introduced, providing an extra benefit for potential home buyers to move off the fence and into their new home.

In order to qualify for the credit, however, prospective buyers need to sign a contract by the end of April, which makes New Homes Month the perfect opportunity to get last-minute buyers into the home of their dreams before it is too late.


New Resources Available for Membership Day Recruitment Drive

NAHB’s Membership Defenders are back just in time for National Membership Day on May 25 to help home builders associations build their membership strength, one member at a time.

This year’s “Superhero” campaign features new tools, a lead list and other valuable resources that will enable HBAs to recruit new members and bring former members back as well as promote the power of participation.

New this campaign are National Membership Day Edit-Me Articles — five focused articles that set the stage for National Membership Day; reinforce the importance of participation; talk the talk and walk the walk; help build strong relationships; and ask for the time to build membership.

All the articles can be edited and trimmed and used in HBA publications and communications as messages from the HBA president, membership committee chair or other appropriate membership recruiters. The Edit-Me articles can be downloaded at www.nahb.org/membershipdefenders.


Housing Snapshot

Interest Rates  
  30-Yr. Fixed: 5.08% 15-Yr. Fixed: 4.39% 5 Yr. ARM: 4.10%
  1 Yr. ARM: 4.05% Libor (3 months): 0.29% Prime: 3.25%
Housing Starts*  (February 2010)
  Total: 575,000 Single: 499,000 Multi: 76,000
Home Sales*  (February 2010)
  New: 308,000 Existing: 5.02 million  
Median Home Prices  (February 2010)
  New: $220,500 Existing: $165,100  
* Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate


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