New website

Posted on May 30, 2013 in Members

Hello BLHBA members!  How do you like the new site?  We plan to use this area to update you on information specific for you, to help serve you better.

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NAHB Calls on Congress to Establish a Fair and Workable E-Verify System

Posted on May 22, 2013 in Blog

NAHB Calls on Congress to Establish a Fair and Workable E-Verify System

May 16, 2013 - As Congress debates comprehensive immigration reform, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) today called on lawmakers to establish a fair and workable employer verification system for all businesses. Participating in a congressional roundtable discussion on the impact of the mandatory E-Verify electronic employment verification system on America’s small businesses, NAHB Chairman Rick Judson said that such a system must “be fair and efficient, and not impose significant burdens on employers.” The roundtable was held by the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. “Congress must also be mindful of the home building industry and its intricate system of general contractors and subcontractors for the system to be workable,” said Judson, who is a home builder and developer from Charlotte, N.C. As Congress moves to advance immigration bills pending in the House and Senate, NAHB said that a fair and workable E-Verify system for all U.S. employers should: •     Maintain current law, holding U.S. employers accountable only for verifying the identity and work authorization status of their direct employees. Congress should not require employers to verify someone else’s workers, such as a subcontractor’s employees, as this is both unfair and infeasible. •     Maintain present law that forbids employers from knowingly hiring undocumented workers, including subcontracted workers. NAHB fully supports maintaining this “knowing” standard to ensure employers understand their role and obligations under the law. •     Ensure that any compulsory federal E-Verify program contains a robust safe harbor for employers so that those who use the system in good faith cannot be held liable for errors in the E-Verify system by any federal agency, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, or by the employer’s workers. •     Include a strong pre-emption clause preventing state and local governments from creating their own versions of verification requirements for employers. If employers are going to be required to use the federal E-Verify program, they must be assured that they will not also have to meet other potentially conflicting compliance standards imposed by state and local governments. •     Allow employers to begin the E-Verify process when a worker accepts a position, rather than be required to wait until after the start date.  This will provide businesses more lead time to handle tentative non-confirmations for those who are ineligible to work. •     Allow employers to access the E-Verify system via telephone and the Internet so it is more workable for small employers. In addition to calling for a fair and efficient nationwide E-Verify program, Judson said that NAHB supports comprehensive immigration reform that would protect the nation’s borders and create an efficient temporary guest worker program that allows employers to recruit legal immigrant workers when there is a shortage of domestic workers. (Source: http://www.nahb.org/) May 16, 2013 - As Congress debates comprehensive immigration reform, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) today called on lawmakers to establish a fair and workable employer verification system...

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Builder Confidence Improves in May

Posted on May 22, 2013 in Blog

Builder Confidence Improves in May

May 15, 2013 - Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes improved three points to a 44 reading on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) for May, released today. This gain, from a downwardly revised 41 in April, reflected improvement in all three index components – current sales conditions, sales expectations and traffic of prospective buyers. “Builders are noting an increased sense of urgency among potential buyers as a result of thinning inventories of homes for sale, continuing affordable mortgage rates and strengthening local economies,” noted National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “This is definitely an encouraging sign even amidst rising challenges with regard to the cost and availability of building materials, lots and labor.” “While industry supply chains will take time to re-establish themselves following recession-related cutbacks, builders’ views of current sales conditions have improved and expectations for the future remain quite strong as consumers head back to the market in force,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 25 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index 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 posted gains in May. The index gauging current sales conditions increased four points to 48, while the index gauging expectations for future sales edged up a single point to 53 – its highest level since February of 2007. The index gauging traffic of prospective buyers gained three points to 33. Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, no movement was recorded in the Northeast, Midwest or South, which held unchanged at 37, 45 and 42, respectively. Only the West recorded a decline, of six points to 49 in May. Editor’s Note: The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index is strictly the product of NAHB Economics, and is not seen or influenced by any outside party prior to being released to the public. HMI tables can be found at nahb.org/hmi. More information on housing statistics is also available at...

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Builder Confidence in the 55+ Housing Market Shows Strong Growth in First Quarter

Posted on May 11, 2013 in Blog

Builder Confidence in the 55+ Housing Market Shows Strong Growth in First Quarter

May 9, 2013 - In the first quarter of 2013, the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) 55+ single-family Housing Market Index (HMI) increased 19 points on a year over year basis  to 46, which is the highest first-quarter number recorded since the inception of the index in 2008 and sixth consecutive quarter of year over year improvements. “Builders and developers for the 55+ housing sector continue to report increased optimism in the market,” said Robert Karen, chairman of NAHB’s 50+ Housing Council and managing member of the Symphony Development Group. “We are seeing an increase in consumer demand for homes and communities that are designed to address the specific needs of the mature homebuyer.” There are separate 55+ HMIs for two segments of the 55+ housing market: single-family homes and multifamily condominiums. Each 55+ HMI measures builder sentiment based on a survey that asks if current sales, prospective buyer traffic and anticipated six-month sales for that market are good, fair or poor (high, average or low for traffic). An index number below 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as poor than good. All of the components of the 55+ single-family HMI showed significant growth from a year ago: present sales climbed 19 points to 46, expected sales for the next six months increased 21 points to 53 and traffic of prospective buyers rose 15 points to 41. The 55+ multifamily condo HMI posted a substantial gain of 23 points to 38, which is the highest first-quarter reading since the inception of the index. All 55+ multifamily condo HMI components increased compared to a year ago as present sales rose 23 points to 37, expected sales for the next six months climbed 23 points to 43 and traffic of prospective buyers rose 23 points to 38. The 55+ multifamily rental indices also showed strong gains in the first quarter as present production increased 12 points to 43, expected future production rose 13 points to 48, current demand for existing units climbed 14 points to 56 and future demand increased 13 points to 58. “The strong year over year increase in confidence reported by builders for the 55+ market is consistent with year over year increases in other segments of the home building industry,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.  “While demand for new 55+ housing has improved due to a reduced inventory of homes on the market and low interest rates, builders’ ability to respond to the demand is being limited by a shortage of labor with basic construction skills and rising prices for some building...

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