Oklahoma State Home Builders Association

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Remodeling Market Confidence Remains Positive

Posted on July 20, 2017 by Jorie Helms


NAHB Remodelers member Nick Scheel, CGR, of Arrow Kitchen and Bath in Spokane, Washington, created a walk-in bath that combines safety and high style.

The NAHB Remodeling Market Index (RMI) posted a reading of 55 in the second quarter of 2017, down three points from the first quarter.

For 17 consecutive quarters, the RMI has been at or above 50, which indicates that more remodelers report market activity is higher (compared to the prior quarter) than report it is lower. The overall RMI averages ratings of current remodeling activity with indicators of future remodeling activity.

“While remodelers continue to see robust demand across the country, the lack of skilled labor continues to be a serious issue,” said NAHB RemodelersChairman Dan Bawden, CAPS, GMB, CGR, CGP, a remodeler from Houston. “Remodelers are finding they have to decline projects because they can’t hire enough skilled staff to keep up with the demand.”

An overwhelming majority of respondents — 84% — stated that the cost/availability of labor is the most significant challenge residential remodelers are currently facing.

At 55, current market conditions declined three points from the first quarter of 2017. Among its three major components, major additions and alterations waned three points to 54, minor additions and alterations decreased six points to 53, and the home maintenance and repair component fell three points to 57.

The future market indicators index stood at 55, also slipping three points from the previous quarter. Calls for bids fell three points to 56, amount of work decreased five points to 53, and the backlog of remodeling jobs dropped four points to 58. Meanwhile, appointments for proposals rose one point to 55.

“The RMI has remained above 50 for the past four years, indicating strong demand for remodeling work,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “However, the challenges posed by rising labor and material costs will constrain remodelers’ ability to increase production at a faster pace.”

For the full RMI tables, please visit nahb.org/rmi. Learn more about joining NAHB Remodelers on this page.

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Single-Family Housing Starts Bounce Back in June

Posted on July 19, 2017 by Jorie Helms

The plan for Cortesa at Esencia in Mission Viejo, Calif., by Shea Homes won a gold BALA award for design.

Nationwide housing starts rose 8.3% in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.22 million units, according to data released this morning from HUD and the Commerce Department.

Single-family production increased 6.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 849,000 units from a below-trend May reading of 799,000, while multifamily starts rose 13.3% to 366,000. Single-family production was at its second-highest rate this year.

“We are encouraged by the June production report, but our builders continue to express concerns about lot and labor shortages and building materials price increases,” said NAHB chair Granger MacDonald.

“We are seeing housing production return to trend after a softer reading last month,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “The gradual growth in single-family starts in 2017 is in line with our forecast, and we should see this sector continue to strengthen throughout the year as consumers show interest in the housing market.”

Regionally in June, combined single- and multifamily housing production rose 83.7% in the Northeast, 22% in the Midwest, and 1.6% in the West. Starts fell 3.8% in the South.

Overall permit issuance in June was up 7.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.25 million units. Single-family permits increased 4.1% to 811,000 units while multifamily permits jumped 13.9% to 443,000.

Regionally, overall permits rose 19.7% in the Midwest, 9.9% in the West, and 6.9% in the South. Permits fell 13.9% in the Northeast.

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Builder Confidence Slips 2 Points in July, Remains Solid

Posted on July 18, 2017 by Jorie Helms

Builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes slipped two points in July to 64 from a downwardly revised June reading on the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). It is the lowest reading since November 2016.

“Our members are telling us they are growing increasingly concerned over rising material prices, particularly lumber,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald. “This is hurting housing affordability even as consumer interest in the new home market remains strong.”

“The HMI measure of current sales conditions has been at 70 or higher for eight straight months, indicating strong demand for new homes,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “However, builders will need to manage some increasing supply-side costs to keep home prices competitive.”

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the HMI gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.”

Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

All three HMI components registered losses in July but are still in solid territory. The components gauging current sales conditions fell two points to 70 while the index charting sales expectations in the next six months dropped two points to 73. Meanwhile, the component measuring buyer traffic slipped one point to 48.

Looking at regional three-month moving averages, the Northeast rose one point to 47. The West and Midwest each edged one point lower to 75 and 66, respectively. The South dropped three points to 67.

For a detailed analysis, go to Eye on Housing. Visit nahb.org/hmi and get even more housing statistics at housingeconomics.com.

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Awards Move 55+ Marketing into Overdrive

Posted on July 17, 2017 by Jorie Helms


meadow ranch

Meadow Ranch is an award-winning development from ActiveWest Builders.

You know you’re a really good builder. Your clients know you’re a really good builder. But wouldn’t it be better if your entire market knew?

You can do that by applying for the NAHB Best of 55+ Housing Awards.

That’s what ActiveWest Builders in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho does. A few years back, marketing director Sharon Cunningham and her husband, company president Dennis Cunningham, began entering their best work into regional and national awards competitions.

Every time they won an award — Gold Nuggets at PCBC, Gold and Silver winners from NAHB’s Best of 55+ Housing Awards, an Idaho Grow Smart award — Sharon would write a press release that went to local media and past clients. Then she posted it to the company’s social media pages and to the EnergyStar and U.S. Green Building Council LEED for Homes websites, because the winners were certified to those programs.

“Anyone can say they’re doing a good job,” she said, “but if an independent third party says so, that lets people know that others see the quality of your work as well.”

They also publicize their awards on a large poster at their booth at the twice-a-year local home shows. They include mention of their awards in their newspaper ads, and the actual awards are displayed in the award-winning communities’ model homes.

It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it — it turns the awards into an auxiliary sales force. The result is clear when Sharon answers the phone and hears the caller ask, “Are you that award-winning builder?”

When Dennis became chairman of the 55+ Housing Industry Council this year, Sharon announced it to her press release list, even though it wasn’t an award. But Dennis started hearing comments from clients, who said, “I see you won another award!”

Building award-winning projects is a great accomplishment, but using them to build a reputation is priceless.

The Best of 55+ Housing Awards is open until Aug. 15. Apply today. For information, contact Lynn Basso at 800-368-5242 x8130.

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High-End Development, Down on the Farm

Posted on July 14, 2017 by Jorie Helms


Photo by LandDesign

Home builders and developers design homes, but they also design communities. If 4,000 acres of land nestled into four adjoining areas in rural/suburban Northern Virginia were your canvas, what would you paint?

You might look at the people who would be buying your homes, and what they like. High-end, organic produce grocers are thriving in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Farm-to-table restaurants are popular. And people are happily paying for farm produce from farm shares and gourmet-style meal-prep kits.

So people today like farm fresh produce. A lot. And they also want to be healthy, have places to walk, to run, to exercise. And everyone wants to offer their kids safe and ideally wide-open spaces to stretch their legs and their minds. Read: People don’t want to be boxed in. “Give us nature.” And of course, nice open floor-plan homes and luxurious amenities whenever possible.

Photo by Molly M. Peterson

Enter the agrihood.

Agrihoods have been popping up across the country — dubbed by some as an alternative to the golf course planned community — wherein a functioning farm or food growing is the shared amenity of a new residential development.

With the 4,000-acre blank canvas of mostly farmland and forests in Northern Virginia they’d purchased, developers of the Willowsford community created four “villages” surrounding a true family farm, as well as expansive outdoor space including 45 miles of trails, playgrounds and activity areas, two main community buildings with pools and other recreational and outdoor gathering areas.

Did we mention that this community includes its own farm? Chickens, goats, pigs, vegetables and farmers to work the land and tend the herds. The food they produce is sold onsite at a farm stand and market style and via CSA food share. And there are cooking demos for children and adults in the community’s large kitchens and meal prep spaces.

Photo by Maxine Schnitzer Photography

Is it a gleaming, high-end development? Yes. Is it also a return to the healthy eating and outdoor space focus we had before the microwave meal generation? Yes. It’s both. It’s an agrihood.

Willowsford Agrihood: By the Numbers

  • Opened: 2011
  • Land: 4,000 non-contiguous acres in total
  • Non-residential use: 2,000 acres are held in conservancy for outdoor recreation, farming and sustainable use separate from the HOA. 300 acres of this conservancy-managed land is used for the farm itself
  • Expenses: Residents pay around $190/month to the HOA and $100/year to the land conservancy
  • Varieties of vegetables grown onsite: Over 100
  • Ratio of first-time home buyers: A little over a quarter of buyers are first-time buyers. 72% are “move up” buyers purchasing their second home or beyond
  • Lots sold: 1,200 to date
  • Expected capacity: 2,100 homes
  • Lot size: Ranging from 1/4 acre to 1.5 acres
  • Average home selling price: $840,000

Willowsford has received several local and national awards, including Community of the Year from NAHB’s Nationals awards program in 2013. Willowsford Lodge, a visitor’s center for the community, was a 2013 NAHB Best in American Living (BALA) Gold Award recipient. And Willowsford has won several awards through Northern Virginia Building Industry Association’s Great American Living Awards (GALA) program, including Community of the Year in 2014.

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Best of IBS Webinar: Boost Sales with Facebook

Posted on July 13, 2017 by Jorie Helms


Let’s admit it: Even those of us who loathe technology have a Facebook page. The social platform has become the go-to for everything from chatting with friends to voicing opinions to announcing new babies.

But Facebook can also be a critical tool for your business. Learn how in the Best of IBS webinar Stop Being Social and Start Selling!Wednesday, July 19, 2-3 p.m. ET.

In it, 2017 International Builders’ Show® (IBS) speaker, marketing expert and author Kevin Oakley will help you go beyond being social with your social networks. Learn how to drive real, measurable results on Facebook: increased walk-in and online traffic, appointments and sales.

Participants in this webinar will:

  • Examine how to develop a simple yet thorough paid Facebook strategy that drives quality traffic
  • Explore the different ad types Facebook offers, and which work best in different situations
  • Gain an understanding of what your ads must include to be effective
  • Learn how to integrate your paid and organic social efforts to complement each other

This webinar is part of NAHB’s Best of IBS series, which features new topics from some of the most popular speakers at IBS.

Space is limited to the first 100 participants. Register before 3 p.m. (12 p.m. PT) on Tuesday, July 18.

Earn 1.0 hours of continuing education credits for the following 12 designations: CAPS, CGA, CGB, CGP, CGR, CMP, CSP, GMB, GMR, Master CGP, Master CSP, MIRM.

For questions about registration, please email Sheila Coble or call 800-368-5242 x8057

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