NAHB February News

31 Jan 2018 9:27 AM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

by NAHB newsletter to members

NAHB Economist Predicts Continued Growth

The newly enacted tax law will likely spur job and economic growth and keep single-family housing production on a gradual upward trajectory in 2018, according to NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz, who offered his forecast in a panel discussion during the International Builders’ Show in Orlando in January.

“We expect that tax reform will boost GDP growth to 2.6% in 2018, and this added economic activity will also bode well for housing, although there will be some transition effects in high-tax jurisdictions,” Dietz said. “Ongoing job creation, wage increases and tight existing home inventory will also boost the housing market in the year ahead.”

Dietz offered this forecast:

• 30-year fixed-rate mortgage
 will average 4.31% in 2018 and 4.82% in 2019.

• 1.21 million total housing starts in 2018 and overall production to grow an additional 2.7% to 1.25 million units in 2019.

• Single-family starts to rise 5% in 2018 to 893,000 units and increase an additional 5% to 940,000 next year.

• Multifamily starts to edge 1.6% lower this year to 354,000 units. This is a sustainable level due to demographics.

• Residential remodeling activity is expected to register a 7% gain in 2018 over last year.

Dollar Value of NAHB Advocacy

NAHB economists have put a dollar value on selected member benefits and advocacy victories achieved in 2017. Add up the dollar value of NAHB services and advocacy victories and you get an average of $7,500 per housing start for a typical home builder.

That figure demonstrates how much value NAHB delivers for members. Just a few of the advocacy victories achieved in 2017 that contribute to that number include:

  • $1,600 Suspension of OSHA Beryllium Rule
  • $1,200 Reductions in Builder Taxes
  • $700 Protection of Builder Interest Deduction
  • $700 Elimination of Flawed Duct Proposal
  • $1,000 Preservation of Options in Building Codes

These numbers represent the value per housing start a typical builder will see in 2018 as a result of key NAHB advocacy victories achieved in 2017. Some members will experience more of these benefits than others.

New Campaign Promotes Workplace Safety

NAHB has created a new public awareness campaign to help building industry pros get the resources needed to help keep residential construction workers safe. The Safety 365 campaign is a joint effort of NAHB's Construction Safety Committee and Builders Mutual Insurance Co.

Rule Addresses Small Business Health Plans

The Department of Labor recently issued a proposed rule intended to expand access to health coverage by allowing more employers to form Small Business Health Plans, also known as Association Health Plans. This would give small businesses, including many home building firms, access to better and more afford- able health care plans, allow them to negotiate lower costs for coverage, and level the playing field for smaller firms that want to help their workers and their families address health care costs.

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