Oklahoma Home Builder News - OSHBA

 

Home Builders Recognized for Lobbying Clout

Posted on December 14, 2018 by Jorie Helms

“The select few on the list have demonstrated their ability to wield influence and deliver results on Capitol Hill and in the administration on behalf of clients and groups seeking a voice in Washington,” The Hill said in a Dec. 13 story citing the top lobbyists of 2018.

The prominent Capitol Hill publication listed NAHB CEO Jerry Howard among this elite group of Washington power players.

Although The Hill highlighted one person from each organization it listed, Howard was quick to point out that his inclusion represents the good work of all involved in the federation.

“While I am flattered to receive this recognition, the fact that NAHB is recognized as one of the most powerful trade groups is a testament to the shared efforts of our members; the NAHB staff, most notably Chief Lobbyist Jim Tobin and his government affairs team; EOs; councils and all those who work on behalf of the association to keep housing at the forefront of the national agenda,” Howard said.

NAHB’s government affairs staff works closely with Capitol Hill staffers to set up meetings between NAHB member volunteers, including the Senior Officers, and their elected representatives in Congress. They also help facilitate thousands of visits to congressional offices to advance NAHB’s position on key legislation.

NAHB leverages the association’s power to shine a light on key issues, get pro-housing bills introduced and passed, challenge regulations that do more harm than good, and level the playing field against powerful interests that could put struggling builders, remodelers and their suppliers out of business.

The most recent example of NAHB’s clout occurred earlier this week when Howard, along with a select few members of Congress, was invited to give remarks at EPA headquarters regarding the new waters of the U.S. proposal announced by Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.

“By fighting every day for the housing industry on major issues that affect our members’ bottom line, NAHB is working tirelessly to create a better business environment for all those involved in the residential construction industry,” Howard said.

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Cracking the Medicare Code

Posted on December 12, 2018 by Jorie Helms

What You Need to Know Before Signing Up for Medical Coverage

A Publication of Trust Company of Oklahoma

Buckle up! Turning 65 means signing up for Medicare. You are not alone: over 10 thousand Baby Boomers turn 65 each day for the next 20 years, with almost 50 million Americans currently covered by Medicare, according to the Social Security Administration. Even though Medicare touches so many citizens, most are confused about the enrollment process due to a shortage of clear information about this program. As a result, many don’t have the knowledge they need to enroll without incurring penalties or to prepare for the costs Medicare does not cover. To learn more about the ins and outs of Medicare, begin with the road map below.

Read more here! Cracking the Medicare Code

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December is usually the slowest month for home sales, but that might not be the case this year

Posted on December 3, 2018 by Jorie Helms

December is usually the slowest month for the housing market, but this season is not so normal. Some unique dynamics may make this December one of the better times to both buy and sell a home.

First and foremost, mortgage rates are turning what was a red-hot market into a lukewarm market, and that is motivating buyers more than usual. That’s because home prices ran up so far so fast during the recent historic housing shortage, that higher rates are having an outsized impact.

Real estate agent Lynn Fairfield of Re/Max Suburban held an open house Sunday in suburban Chicago, and rates were front and center in the living room conversations.

“I see more people buying right now because they’re afraid rates will be higher in 2019,” said Fairfield.

The average rate on the 30-year fixed spiked this past fall, after flatlining over the summer. Rates are now about a full percentage point higher than they were a year ago, hovering now just below 5 percent. They are expected to move higher in 2019, however.

Combine that with strong home price appreciation over the past two years, and some buyers, especially first-timers, have now hit an affordability wall. That is why sales of both new and existing homes have been weaker for several months, but that also presents an opportunity for buyers. Prices are finally starting to ease — or, at least, the gains are shrinking.

Prices are usually lower in the winter months, in fact 18 percent lower on average than at the peak of the market in June, according to Re/Max. So add higher rates to that, and sellers will have to be more flexible this year. The sky is no longer the limit. Not even close.

“The housing market always lets up a little in the fall, when kids are back in school and the home shopping season wraps up for the holidays,” said Aaron Terrazas, senior economist at Zillow. “But this fall and winter are shaping up to be more favorable for those buyers who have struggled to get into the housing market for several years amid red-hot competition.”

Zillow is seeing a sharp increase in the share of properties with price cuts, even in overheated markets like Seattle, Las Vegas and Boston.

Of course the number of new listings are the lowest in December, as a new home is not traditionally a holiday gift, and anyone with children doesn’t want to move during the school year.

“Though the holiday season is not going to give you plenty of options to choose from, there are reasons why you should NOT put your home search on hold for the holidays,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com. “Chief among them, December is the best time of year if you want to avoid competitions.”

Views per property are 21 percent lower in December than they are during the rest of the year, according to Realtor.com.

While supply and competition may both be at their low point, motivation is at its high point, for both buyers and sellers.

“That buyer has to move. Either they have a lease expiring Jan. 1, or they have saved enough money for their down payment, so they are motivated to buy,” said Fairfield. “A lot of people are more motivated price-wise from the selling standpoint too, because they too want to get to their next location.”

Homes do stay on the market longer in December, on average five days longer than the rest of the year, so sellers have to be patient. And buyers have to be flexible. If the seller hasn’t already vacated the property, they may not want a lot of buyers traipsing through their holiday decorations or coming around when family and friends are visiting.

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NEW Certified Professional Builder website is HERE!

Posted on November 17, 2018 by Jorie Helms

It's here! The new CPB page is up and active. Check it out! CPBOK.org

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Labor Shortages are Raising Home Prices

Posted on October 22, 2018 by Jorie Helms

Last month, NAHBNow recounted the record share of single-family builders reporting shortages of labor and subcontractors based on a recent survey conducted by the association.

According to the survey respondents, the most widespread effects of the labor shortages were:

  1. Causing builders to pay higher wages and/or subcontractor bids (reported by 84% of builders);
  2. Forcing them to raise home prices (83%); and
  3. Making it difficult to complete projects on time (73%).

As NAHB Senior Economist Paul Emrath reported in this Eye on Housing blog post, these have consistently ranked as the most commonly reported effects of the labor and subcontractor shortages since NAHB began asking builders about them in 2015.

However, all three concerns have become even more acute recently.

The steepest upward trend has been in the share of builders saying the labor/subcontractor shortages are causing higher home prices. This figure jumped by 22% between 2015 and 2018, and is nearly tied with higher wages/subcontractor bids as the most widespread effect of the labor shortages.

labor shortage graph

The survey also revealed that labor and subcontractor costs have risen much higher than the rate of inflation over the past year. From July 2017 to July 2018, for example, overall inflation was up 2.9%, but labor costs increased by 5.2% and subcontractor costs jumped by 7.2% over the same period.

This is particularly significant, given that three-fourths of construction costs typically represent the work performed by subcontractors. It is also consistent with the NAHB survey results showing that the incidence of shortages was higher for subcontractors than for labor directly employed builders in 14 of 15 occupations.

View the complete survey on labor availability.

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President Blackburn talks with SWOKHBA members after General Meeting

Posted on October 22, 2018 by Jorie Helms

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