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Daily Archives: July 16, 2021

NAHB Pushes Congress to Enact Changes in Housing Policy

WASHINGTON, DC — The housing industry’s largest trade association has called upon Congressional lawmakers to enact a series of policy proposals aimed at helping home builders to expand the housing supply, reduce the housing deficit and improve housing affordability for all Americans.

Jerry Howard, CEO of the National Association of Home Builders, testified during a hearing before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight about expanding housing access to all Americans, noting that rising home prices, apartment rents and construction costs “represent additional risks to housing affordability for prospective home buyers and renters.”

“Over the past decade, the residential construction industry has underbuilt and not kept pace with demand due to several supply-side constraints,” Howard testified. “These include a lack of skilled labor and buildable lots, tight lending conditions, shortages and rapidly rising prices for building materials, and excessive regulatory burdens that have added approximately 25% to the cost of a single-family home and 33% to a multi-family unit. Progress must be made on all fronts to ease the supply-side challenges that are holding back housing production.”

The Washington, DC-based NAHB called on Congress and the Biden administration to “fix” the building materials supply chain, improve the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, and reformulate current homeownership tax incentives.

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Home Office Growth Seen Spurring Sales in Organization Products

CLEVELAND, OH — The COVID-19 pandemic and its demands for social distancing, telecommuting and home-schooling has spurred current and projected growth for home organization products, including those for the kitchen, a major new study has found.

According to the Cleveland, OH-based industrial research firm Fredonia Group, sales of home organization products are forecast to grow 2.1% per year from an “elevated” 2020 level through 2025, reaching a total of $13.5 billion.

“As would be expected, the top reason for buying home organization products in the past year was to improve a home office space or to set up a new one,” Fredonia reported. “Similarly, setting up home study space for telecommuting schoolchildren also was a primary reason for purchases,” researchers added.

A Freedonia Group poll conducted from November to December of 2020 found that 38% of surveyed U.S. consumers bought home organization products in the past 12 months, with purchasing habits varying across demographic groups.

“For example, households with children under 18 were far more likely to have bought home organization products than households who did not,” Fredonia said. “This trend also aligns with the middle age groups who are also more likely to be buying their first home or a home to fit their growing family,” the company added.

Products studied included bins, shelving, accessories, hardware and hanging units, as well as more elaborate installations like custom-built modular units for closets, pantries or garages.

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Interest in Larger Homes Once Again Rising, AIA Survey Finds

WASHINGTON, DC — For the first time in five years, homeowner interest in larger homes increased over the previous 12 months, according to new data from the American Institute of Architects’ latest quarterly Home Design Trends Survey.

The AIA’s Home Design Trends Survey for the second quarter of 2021, focusing on home and property design, also found a “robust uptick” in demand for finished spaces – such as basements, attics and garages – as well as for outdoor living space, including outbuildings such as sheds, barns and pool houses. Home designs that accommodate accessibility and aging in place continue to remain popular, the AIA also noted.

“Since households are doing more at home, they’ve been looking for more space during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kermit Baker, chief economist for the Washington, DC-based AIA. “This has included focusing more activities outdoors, and adding other buildings to their property,” Baker observed, adding that “the overall strength of the residential market has driven project backlogs at residential architecture firms to pre-pandemic levels.”

The AIA’s Home Design Trends Surveys are conducted quarterly among a panel of more than 500 architecture firms that concentrate their practice in the residential sector.

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