The Official Online Weekly Newspaper of NAHB
When speaking to reporters and at business meetings across the country that made headlines during the past two weeks, NAHB leadership and staff members called on Washington to end the anti-housing policies that are dampening the economic recovery and they discussed NAHB polling showing that Americans value homeownership.
NAHB’s call to bolster housing appeared in the news in various large and small markets across the country. NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen even spread the message over Japan’s English-speaking public television network.
The following are media highlights:
- Citing Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s concerns over the lackluster housing recovery, NAHB issued a press release calling on leaders in Washington to take action to address the problem and reverse anti-housing policies that are dampening demand and preventing a housing and economic recovery.
“The American people still strongly believe that homeownership provides security, stability and a solid long-term investment,” said NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen, referring to numerous polls that show overwhelming support for homeownership. “Yet, policymakers are doing their best to put policies in place that reduce the American people’s ability to purchase a home. Why? How long do we want to stay in a recession?”
- NAHB reiterated the call to reverse anti-housing policies following the government’s September employment report, which showed relative weakness, particularly as it relates to the residential construction sector.
“We are seeing now what an economic recovery looks like without housing, and the picture is hardly encouraging,” Nielsen said in a press release. “We need to address anti-housing impediments to home builders creating jobs in countless communities across the land.”
- Nielsen also was interviewed by NHK Television, Japan’s public broadcasting network, on the Obama Administration’s housing policies.
- NAHB CEO Jerry Howard was quoted in the Bloomberg Businessweek article, “Housing Industry Asks U.S. Congress to Adopt ‘No Harm’ Principle,” in which NAHB and other housing-related allies were depicted as asking lawmakers for something new to combat stagnant home prices and mounting foreclosures.
“Shut up,” Howard said in the article, while paraphrasing his message to lawmakers. “Stop saying we’re going to eliminate the mortgage interest deduction. Stop saying we’re going to require everyone to put 20% down on a house. Stop saying there’s no role for the federal government.”
- Howard’s remarks to North Dakota’s Minot Area Chamber of Commerce on the state of the housing industry; NAHB’s recent polling showing that Americans still value homeownership; and the problems facing North Dakota home builders — flooding, labor shortages and getting materials delivered on time — were covered in-depth by the Minot Daily News.
“I can tell you that there are builders probably in 46 states who would love to hear of a labor shortage right now,” Howard was quoted in the article.
- NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe was quoted in a Washington Post story on the state of the economy. “I continue to stick to my guns that we’re not going to fall backward into a recession,” said Crowe. “It’s just hard to figure out how you can get much lower than we are already.”
- In a telephone interview with Builder magazine, NAHB chief lobbyist Jim Tobin said NAHB is ready to battle to keep housing a national priority. He cited overregulation as a top priority for the association.
“We are the most overregulated industry in the country,” Tobin said, while attributing the tightening of credit to “regulators telling banks to stay out of the real estate sector entirely.”
Bloomberg, GlobeSt.com, the San Antonio Express and Business Record were among the news and industry outlets that reported the results of the second edition of the NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) released on Oct. 6. According to the IMI, 23 individual markets now qualify as “improving” under the new gauge’s parameters, nearly double the number found to be well on the mend reported in September when the index was first released.
"Both the number and geographic diversity of improving housing markets expanded this month, with Iowa, Illinois and South Carolina all newly represented by one entry or more on the list. This is further evidence that, despite the tough conditions that persist in many cities, pockets of improvement are emerging in local housing markets across the country," Nielsen said in NAHB’s press release on the index.
- NAHB senior tax economist Rob Dietz was quoted in a Miami Herald story on presidential candidate Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan. “It would have a negative impact on a fragile housing market, particularly in a state like Florida,” Dietz said.
- In “Experts: Housing Key to Recovery” in Oregon’s Herald and News — a story that began, “How do you end a recession? Build new homes” — NAHB senior economist Elliott Eisenberg discussed at length the importance of home building to the local and state economies.
“New home construction has been the catalyst in getting us out of recessions in the past,” Eisenberg said. “When you build a house, you create three to 3.5 jobs at the local and state level.”
- In an address to North Dakota’s Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead reported in WDAY News and Inforum, Eisenberg also extolled the benefits of home building.
Citing NAHB’s study on the economic benefits of home building, Eisenberg said that “for every 100 new single-family homes built, a total of nearly $40 million in local income and more than $6.3 million in local taxes is generated in the first 10 years, along with 235 temporary jobs and 51 permanent jobs.”