New Construction

RE/MAX Masters Home Builder Services

Co-owners of RE/MAX Masters - Steve Jacobs and Charles Jeter - bring a combined history of almost 40 years and over 1,500 transactions in new construction experience. As a part of sales teams and senior leadership of Nashville area home builders including the current top three builders the RE/MAX Masters New Home Sales Professionals bring the best practices from these industry leading builders to your operations.

Our “insider” understanding of pricing strategies used by the builder community will empower you to capture the maximum profit margin potential and leave as little money on the table as possible. Our team is trained in a structured sales process, in-depth product knowledge, regular competition reviews, quarterly market analysis, and weekly traffic reports to deliver the data to track your business and sales to grow your business.

In 2014-2015 our team has delivered over $100 Million in closings for our builders with individual companies experiencing 100% growth.

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What are the BENEFITS to RE/MAX Masters Home Builder Services?

  • RE/MAX Masters brings the same structured approach to market analysis, promotion, and sales direction as the national builders to the independent builders .
  • RE/MAX Masters provides the benefit of a Director of Sales, Director of Marketing, Design/Selection Center, and support staff without to the cost to overhead.
  • RE/MAX Masters’ Lead team’s experience working with Nashville’s top three homebuilders you will have the benefit of inside knowledge of your competitors positioning and pricing strategies
  • RE/MAX Masters has access to additional lot/land opportunities not currently on the open market that are reserved for our Home builder clients
  • RE/MAX Masters is the ONLY area brokerage to feature a Design/Selection Center that will assist Home Builder customers choosing features in their new construction home and listing clients in making selections for remodeling homes to put on the market.

News and Publications Feed


Lower Interest Rates Help Boost March New Home Sales

Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 692,000 units in March after a slightly revised February report, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the highest sales pace since November 2017.

"These numbers indicate that builders who can produce housing at affordable price points will experience sales growth,” said Greg Ugalde, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Torrington, Conn. “However, builders are still dealing with a shortage of construction workers and buildable lots, which limits housing affordability.”

“We saw a large gain at lower price points where demand is strong. In March of 2019, 50 percent of new home sales were priced below $300,000, compared to 39 percent in March of 2018,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “These are the price points that are attractive for renters seeking to become homeowners.”

A new home sale occurs when a sales contract is signed or a deposit is accepted. The home can be in any stage of construction: not yet started, under construction or completed. In addition to adjusting for seasonal effects, the March reading of 692,000 units is the number of homes that would sell if this pace continued for the next 12 months.

The inventory of new homes for sale was 344,000 in March, representing a 6 months’ supply. The median sales price was $302,700 with strong gains in homes sold at lower price points. The median price of a new home sale a year earlier was $335,400.

Regionally, and on a year to date basis, new home sales fell 17.6 percent in the Northeast, 8.1 percent in Midwest and 5.9 percent in the West. Sales rose 9.6 percent in the South, where 58 percent of new home sales occurred in March.

Housing Starts Decline in March

Total housing starts fell 0.3 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.14 million units from a downwardly revised reading in February, according to a report from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development and Commerce Department that was delayed due to the partial government shutdown.

The March reading of 1.14 million is the number of housing units builders would begin construction if they kept this pace for the next 12 months. Within this overall number, single-family starts fell 0.4 percent to 785,000 units. The multifamily sector, which includes apartment buildings and condos, remained flat at 354,000.

“Despite signs of stabilization of confidence in the marketplace, housing affordability continues to be a concern as housing construction weakens into March,” said Greg Ugalde, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Torrington, Conn. 

“Data in the early months of 2019 show single-family starts are off 5 percent from this time in 2018, with notable weakness in the Midwest and West,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Several factors are negatively affecting the housing market, including excessive regulations, a lack of buildable lots and ongoing labor shortages. Recent declines in mortgage rates should help support the market in future months however.”

Regionally, combined single-family and multifamily starts year to date declined 14.2 percent in the Northeast, 10.9 percent in the Midwest and 27.1 percent in the West. Starts posted a 1.5 percent increase in the South.

Overall permits, which are often a harbinger of future housing production, edged 1.7 percent lower in March to 1.27 million units. Single-family permits fell 1.1 percent to an annualized pace of 808,000, while multifamily permits dropped 2.7 percent to an annual rate of 461,000.

Looking at regional permit data on a year to date basis, permits are down 3.7 percent in the Midwest, 0.4 percent in the South and 16.9 percent in in the West. The Northeast remained unchanged.

Remodelers’ Confidence Falls Three Points in First Quarter of 2019

The National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Remodeling Market Index (RMI) posted a reading of 54 in the first quarter of 2019, falling three points from the previous quarter. The RMI has been consistently above 50—indicating that more remodelers report market activity is higher compared to the prior quarter than report it is lower—since the second quarter of 2013. The overall RMI averages current remodeling activity and future indicators.

“The demand for remodeling is strong in many parts of the country due to insufficient home construction and an aging housing stock,” said NAHB Remodelers Chair Tim Ellis, CAPS, CGP, CGR, GMR, Master CGP, a remodeler from Bel Air, Md. “However, it can be difficult to find skilled labor for remodeling projects.”

Current market conditions dipped four points from the previous quarter to 53. Among its three major components, major additions and alterations fell seven points to 49, minor additions and alterations waned one point to 55 and the home maintenance and repair component decreased three points to 56.

The future market indicators dropped two points from the previous quarter to 54. Calls for bids fell three points to 54, amount of work committed for the next three months increased two points to 54, the backlog of remodeling jobs fell five points to 54 and appointments for proposals remained steady at 55.

“The Remodeling Market Index declined in the first quarter but remains over 50, indicating the market will continue to expand at modest rates,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “NAHB’s forecast calls for slowing growth, given declining home price appreciation and existing home sales volume, combined with rising construction costs.”

For the full RMI tables, please visit www.nahb.org/rmi. For more information about remodeling, visit www.nahb.org/remodel.

Builder Confidence Edges Higher in April

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose one point to 63 in April, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today. Sentiment levels have held in the low 60s for the past three months.

“Builders report solid demand for new single-family homes but they are also grappling with affordability concerns stemming from a chronic shortage of construction workers and buildable lots,” said NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde, a home builder and developer from Torrington, Conn.

“Ongoing job growth, favorable demographics and a low-interest rate environment will help to modestly spark sales growth in the near term,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “However, supply-side headwinds that are putting upward pressure on housing costs will limit more robust growth in the housing market.”

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 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.

The HMI index gauging current sales conditions increased one point to 69, and the component measuring traffic of prospective buyers rose three points to 47. The measure charting sales expectations in the next six months fell one point to 71.

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast posted a three-point gain to 51, the Midwest increased two points to 53, and the South was up one point to 67. The West remained unchanged at 69.

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 housingeconomics.com.

Statement from NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde on Senate Confirmation of Mark Calabria as FHFA Director

Greg Ugalde, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Torrington, Conn., issued the following statement on the Senate confirmation of Mark Calabria as the new director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency:

“NAHB congratulates Mark Calabria on his Senate confirmation as the new director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. He brings considerable housing finance experience to the job. We look forward to working with Mark to advance comprehensive housing finance reform that maintains an appropriate level of federal support to ensure an adequate flow of affordable housing credit in all economic and financial conditions.”

First-Time Home Buyers Battle Rising Prices, Seek Better Homes

As the housing industry celebrates New Homes Month in April, recent data from the American Housing Survey (AHS) confirms nearly two-thirds of first-time home buyers say a better home is the top reason for moving, followed by household formation, 61 percent and a better neighborhood, 49 percent.

First-time home buyers make up 37 percent of all households who purchased homes in the two years preceding the release of the 2017 AHS, down from 39 percent in the 2015 AHS. The median price of homes purchased by recent home buyers, including first-time buyers and previous home owners, known as trade-up buyers, increased by 10 percent from the 2015 AHS.

“First-time home buyers are eager to move to better homes and neighborhoods, yet home prices remain a challenge,” said National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Chairman Greg Ugalde, a builder and developer from Torrington, Conn. “Public policies and incentives that support home affordability can help buyers find a home that fits their lifestyle and family.”

Home builders recognize the complexity of factors that contribute to higher home prices and the cost of housing. In today’s market, issues such as the supply of land; federal, state and local regulatory requirements; and a shortage of skilled labor makes it difficult to increase the supply of affordable housing.

The demographics of first-time and trade-up home buyers remained largely unchanged from the 2015 AHS: the typical home buyer was 40 years old; first-time buyers had a median age of 32, compared to a median age of 47 for trade-up buyers. Twenty-seven percent of recent home buyers were racial or ethnic minorities, about the same as in the 2015 AHS.

In a positive sign for the spring home buying season, the Federal Reserve last week signaled that it envisions no rate increases in 2019 and only a single rate hike in 2020. While public policies to improve housing affordability are needed, the recent Fed announcement will help housing markets this year.

Home buyers can access home buying and home building information and resources at NewHomesMonth.org.

New Home Sales Show Solid Growth in February

Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 667,00 units in February after an upwardly revised January report, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the highest sales pace since March 2018.

The sales report was delayed due to the partial government shutdown.

“The recent decline in mortgage rates have helped boost sales activity as home buyers take advantage of these lower interest rates,” said Greg Ugalde, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Torrington, Conn.

“The new home sales data continue to show potential to grow sales at affordable price points that would be attractive for the entry-level buyer,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “However, builders need to be mindful of housing costs as they try to meet this demand.”

A new home sale occurs when a sales contract is signed or a deposit is accepted. The home can be in any stage of construction: not yet started, under construction or completed. In addition to adjusting for seasonal effects, the February reading of 667,000 units is the number of homes that would sell if this pace continued for the next 12 months.

The inventory of new homes for sale was 340,000 in February and has been relatively flat since December. The median sales price was $315,300 as most sales growth took place in the $200,000-$400,000 sales class.

Regionally, and on a monthly basis, new home sales rose 26.9 percent in the Northeast, 28.3 percent in Midwest and 1.8 percent in the South. The West remained unchanged.

Statement from NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde on NAFTA Panel Ruling

Greg Ugalde, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Torrington, Conn., issued the following statement after the NAFTA Binational Panel agreed to allow NAHB to file an amicus brief regarding the U.S.-Canada softwood lumber trade dispute:

“The fact that the NAFTA Binational Panel agreed to allow NAHB to file an amicus in support of Canada’s challenge to duties on softwood lumber imports into the U.S. represents a positive development for American consumers and housing affordability. Duties averaging more than 20 percent increase volatility in the lumber market and needlessly push up housing costs.

“The panel affirmed that ‘NAHB is uniquely situated’ to discuss ‘the issue of substitutability’ when it comes to different types of lumber used in the home construction process. We welcome the opportunity to provide this unique home building perspective to this issue. It is our hope it will serve as an impetus for the U.S. and Canada to hammer out a long-term solution to this problem that will satisfy all sides—including domestic industries and consumers—that rely on softwood lumber for their economic well-being.”

NAHB Commends Trump Memorandum on Housing Finance Reform

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) today commended President Trump for putting housing finance reform at the top of the national agenda and signing a memorandum directing relevant agencies to develop a plan that will help more Americans achieve the dream of homeownership.

“We applaud the president for taking an active leadership role to revamp the nation’s housing finance system,” said NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde, a home builder and developer from Torrington, Conn. “NAHB is especially pleased that his memorandum specifically cites the importance of preserving the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, which has enabled millions of American families to build wealth and financial security through homeownership.”

The president’s announcement follows two days of hearings before the Senate Banking Committee earlier this week on Senator Mike Crapo’s proposal to overhaul the housing finance system. Ugalde testified on this issue yesterday before the panel, and these developments should build momentum for the administration and Congress to work together to achieve comprehensive reform that improves the nation’s housing finance system.

“The right reforms are critical to maintain a healthy housing market and ensure that single-family and multifamily housing credit for sale and rental properties remains readily available,” said Ugalde.

The next step is for Congress to move this process forward to revamp the housing finance system in a way that won’t interrupt the flow of credit.

“NAHB looks forward to working with the White House and Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress to pass bipartisan housing finance legislation that provide certainty to the marketplace while maintaining the proper level of government support for housing in all economic and financial market conditions.”

Crapo’s Housing Finance Reform Plan Moves the Debate Forward

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) today commended Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo for developing his housing finance reform proposal and believes it will serve as an important marker to move the debate forward in Congress.

Testifying on this issue before the Senate Banking Committee, NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde, a home builder and developer from Torrington, Conn., said that an effective housing finance system must address liquidity as well as affordability.

“An essential component of any strategy for housing affordability must be advancing comprehensive housing finance reform which will ensure the capital and liquidity necessary for housing developers, builders, lenders and consumers to access stable financing,” said Ugalde.

NAHB believes that Chairman Crapo has put forth a thoughtful outline for housing finance reform that includes essential elements that would achieve these aims.

“In particular, we appreciate the chairman’s continued support for an explicit government backstop for a key portion of the conventional mortgage market,” said Ugalde. “We firmly believe this is critical to ensuring the ongoing availability of the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, which is essential to affordable homeownership, as well as preserving support for the financing of affordable multifamily properties.”

With Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac languishing in conservatorship for the past decade, NAHB has been a strong proponent of comprehensive housing finance reform.

“Having Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue in conservatorship with no end in sight contributes to uncertainty regarding mortgage availability and affordability and is therefore both undesirable and unsustainable,” said Ugalde.

Given the significant role that housing plays in the economy, Ugalde urged lawmakers to take a long-term, holistic approach to housing finance system reform.

“NAHB also urges Congress to carefully consider the differences between the single-family and multifamily market and not apply solutions to one piece of the market that are not appropriate for the other,” he said.

February Housing Starts Down After Single-Family Surge in January

Total housing starts fell 8.7 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.16 million units from an upwardly revised reading in January, according to a report from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development and Commerce Department that was delayed due to the partial government shutdown.

The February reading of 1.16 million is the number of housing units builders would begin if they kept this pace for the next 12 months. Within this overall number, single-family starts fell 17 percent to 805,000 units following an unusually high reading of 970,000 units in January. Meanwhile, the multifamily sector, which includes apartment buildings and condos, increased 17.8 percent to 357,000.

“The overall lower starts numbers are somewhat deceiving given the revised single-family starts figure in January was at a post-recession high,” said Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington, AVP for Forecasting and Analysis at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). “Absent the surge last month, the drop in single-family production in February is not as huge as it appears. Still, builders continue to remain cautious due to affordability concerns, as illustrated by the flat permits data.”

“The February starts figures are somewhat in line with flat builder expectations and serve as a cautionary note that affordability factors continue to affect the marketplace,” said Greg Ugalde, chairman of NAHB and a home builder and developer from Torrington, Conn. “Excessive regulations, a scarcity of buildable lots, persistent labor shortages and tariffs on lumber and other key building materials are having a negative effect on housing affordability.”

Regionally, combined single-family and multifamily starts in February fell 29.5 percent in the Northeast, 18.9 percent in the West and 6.8 percent in the South. Starts posted a 26.8 percent increase in the Midwest.

Overall permits, which are often a harbinger of future housing production, edged 1.6 percent lower in February to 1.30 million units. Single-family permits held steady at 821,000, while multifamily permits fell 4.2 percent to 475,000.

Looking at regional permit data, permits rose 1.5 percent in the Northeast, 4 percent in the South and 1.1 percent in the Midwest. Permits fell 15 percent in the West.

Darylene Dennon Named 2019 NAHB Professional Women in Building Council Chair

Darylene Dennon, chief executive officer and owner of Solid Energy Inc. in Woodinville, Wash., was recently sworn in as the 2019 chair of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Professional Women in Building (PWB) Council.

As chair of the PWB Council, Dennon will manage the council's business and represent the interests of the council members throughout NAHB. Her focus as Chair is to mentor other women and invite different ethnic, cultural and multigenerational building industry perspectives to the table.

“I am a big believer in mentoring to empower others to empower themselves,” said Dennon. “I look forwarding building upon a great team of women on the council and working together to continue the great work that the council has been doing for the industry.”

Dennon and her husband started Solid Energy Inc., a painting and light remodeling company, in 1988. She was awarded the prestigious NAHB PWB Woman of the Year award in 2015, is the co-founder of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish’s PWB Council and is a NAHB Director.

Dennon was the first woman president for the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA) Washington State Council and president of the national PDCA in 2011-2013. She was also the first woman president for the Construction Industry Training Council, a state certified open shop apprenticeship institute in Washington.

Dennon is a presenter, author and speaker on topics concerning the building industry, leadership, business development and sales.

For more information about Professional Women in Building, visit nahb.org/whypwb.

Builder Confidence Holds Steady in March

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes held steady at 62 in March, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today.

“Builders report the market is stabilizing following the slowdown at the end of 2018 and they anticipate a solid spring home buying season,” said NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde, a home builder and developer from Torrington, Conn.

“In a healthy sign for the housing market, more builders are saying that lower price points are selling well, and this was reflected in the government’s new home sales report released last week,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Increased inventory of affordably priced homes – in markets where government policies support such construction – will enable more entry-level buyers to enter the market.”

However, affordability still remains a key concern for builders. The skilled worker shortage, lack of buildable lots and stiff zoning restrictions in many major metro markets are among the challenges builders face as they strive to construct homes that can sell at affordable price points.

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 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.

The HMI component charting sales expectations in the next six months rose three points to 71, the index gauging current sales conditions increased two points to 68, and the component measuring traffic of prospective buyers fell four points to 44. Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast posted a five-point gain to 48, the South was up three points to 66 and West increased two points to 69. The Midwest posted a one-point decline to 51.

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 housingeconomics.com.

January New Home Sales Demonstrate Demand for Affordable Homes

The January new home sales report from the government indicates an increasing demand for homes sold in an affordable price range.

In January 2019, 66 percent of new single-family home sales were priced between $200,000 and $400,000 vs. 22 percent of homes that were sold in the $400,000 to $750,000 range. This compares to 51 percent of homes sold in the $200,000 to $400,000 range in January 2018, and 29 percent that were sold in the $400,000 to $750,000 price category.

“These numbers indicate that builders who can produce housing at affordable price points in markets across the nation will be able to meet this sales demand that is generated by healthy household formations and solid job and wage growth,” said Robert Dietz, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Today’s report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census bureau shows that sales of newly built, single-family homes fell 6.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 607,000 units after a sharp upwardly revised December report. The sales data was delayed due to the partial government shutdown.

The data also show that new home sales posted a 2.3 percent gain for 2018 and the yearly total of 627,000 is the highest sales level since the Great Recession.

“Declines in mortgage rates brought buyers back into the market at the end of 2018 and moving into the new year,” said NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde, a home builder and developer from Torrington, Conn. “After a challenging period last fall, builders expect a solid spring home buying season.”

The inventory of new homes for sale rose to 336,000 in January, which represents a slightly elevated 6.6-month supply at the current sales rate. The median sales price was $317,200.

Regionally, on a monthly basis, new home sales fell 11.4 percent in the Northeast, 28.6 percent in the Midwest and 15.1 percent in the South. Sales rose 27.8 percent in the West.

LIXIL Americas, Makers of American Standard, Continue to Support Skilled Labor Fund

The National Housing Endowment, the philanthropic arm of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), today welcomed a significant donation from plumbing fixture manufacturer LIXIL Americas for the Skilled Labor Fund, an industry-wide effort to provide scholarships and educational assistance designed to address the shortage of skilled labor entering the residential construction market.

“A continued contribution to the Skilled Labor Fund speaks to LIXIL America’s strong sense of corporate responsibility in the face of the workforce shortage,” said Ted Mahoney, a member of the Fund’s Operating Committee and Chairman-Elect of the Endowment.

Nearly 80 percent of builders report shortages of workers across the 15 occupations that make up the skilled trades according to NAHB’s most recent survey data. Plumbers are no exception.

“The pain is shared by consumers and builders alike in the form of less supply, higher prices and longer lead times to complete new homes and remodeling projects,” said Endowment President and CEO Mark Pursell.

"Plumbers perform vital, complex work to protect the health of the nation. Currently, millions of stable, highly-lucrative trade jobs remain unfilled, and the health of our communities is at risk,” said Steven Delarge, Chief Executive Officer, LIXIL Americas. “This gap will continue to grow, and therefore, we must build the ‘next generation’ of trained plumbers by fostering partnerships with vocational schools as well as collaboration and outreach to other critical influencers of the building and construction industry."

The Skilled Labor Fund is a partnership of NAHB, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, the National Kitchen & Bath Association, SGC Horizon and Hydrogen, a full-service advertising agency. The Fund focuses solely on skilled labor for the residential market.

“We are finally seeing some recognition by schools and parents that a career as a skilled trades person offers a rewarding path for young people,” said Mahoney. “It is up to all of us in the residential supply chain to help provide training programs for our future workforce.”

Visit SkilledlaborFund.org to learn more.

Housing Starts Rebound in January

Total housing starts rose 18.6 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.23 million units from a downwardly revised reading in December, according to a report from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development and Commerce Department that was delayed due to the partial government shutdown.

The January reading of 1.23 million is the number of housing units builders would begin if they kept this pace for the next 12 months. Within this overall number, single-family starts surged 25.1 percent to 926,000 units. Meanwhile, the multifamily sector, which includes apartment buildings and condos, increased 2.4 percent to 304,000.

“The bounce back in single-family starts mirrors our builder confidence surveys, as sentiment fell in the latter part of 2018 but rebounded in January after mortgage rates showed a notable decline,” said Greg Ugalde, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Torrington, Conn.

“Some single-family projects that were on pause in December, meaning they were authorized but not started, went online in January. However, builders remain cautious as single-family permit numbers in January were somewhat soft,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz.

Regionally, combined single-family and multifamily starts in January rose 58.5 percent in the Northeast, 29.3 percent in the West and 13.8 percent in the South. Starts fell 5.7 percent in the Midwest.

Overall permits, which are often a harbinger of future housing production, rose 1.4 percent to 1.35 million units in January. Single-family permits fell 2.1 percent to 812,000, the lowest level since August 2017. Multifamily permits increased 7.2 percent to 533,000.

Looking at regional permit data, permits rose 33.1 percent in the Midwest and 26.4 percent in the Northeast. Permits fell 8.9 percent in the West and 3.5 percent in the South.

New Home Sales End the Year Up 1.5 Percent

Sales of newly built, single-family homes posted a yearly gain of 1.5 percent in 2018, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. The December sales numbers rose 3.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 621,000 units after a downwardly revised November report.

The sales report was delayed due to the partial government shutdown.

“The slight gain for 2018 new home sales reflects solid underlying demand for homeownership,” said NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde, a home builder and developer from Torrington, Conn. “Housing affordability remains a challenge across the country, but conditions have improved in early 2019, as illustrated by the recent uptick in builder confidence.”

“Despite a period of weakness in the fall, new home sales ended the year with a small gain,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “While the December sales pace improved on a monthly basis, the current rate of sales remains off the post-Great Recession trend due to housing affordability concerns made worse by the rise in mortgage interest rates at the end of the year. We expect lower mortgage rates in the early months of 2019 will lead to additional new home demand.”

A new home sale occurs when a sales contract is signed or a deposit is accepted. The home can be in any stage of construction: not yet started, under construction or completed. In addition to adjusting for seasonal effects, the December reading of 621,000 units is the number of homes that would sell if this pace continued for the next 12 months.

The inventory of new homes for sale continued to rise in December to 344,000 homes available for sale. A year prior, new single-family home inventory stood at 294,000. The median sales price increased in December to $318,600, although it is lower than a year ago when the median sales price was $343,300. This is primarily due to the rising use of price incentives and a slow change toward additional entry-level inventory.

Regionally, on a total year basis for 2018, new home sales declined 16 percent in the Northeast and one percent in the West. Sales rose four percent in the South and six percent in the Midwest.

Maryland Remodeler Tim Ellis Installed as 2019 NAHB Remodelers Chair

Remodeler Tim Ellis, CAPS, CGP, CGR, GMR, Master CGP, of Bel Air, Md., was installed as the 2019 chair of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelers during the NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. As chair of NAHB Remodelers, Ellis represents nearly 50,000 members of NAHB who are involved in the remodeling industry.

“I am honored to serve as chair of NAHB Remodelers this year,” said Ellis, president and co-founder of T.W. Ellis. “I look forward to representing and serving those who exemplify professionalism and excellence in the remodeling industry.”

Ellis has over 25 years of experience in the remodeling industry and joined NAHB Remodelers in 2006. One of his remodeling projects was the first certified to the 2012 National Green Building Standard. Ellis has received several awards throughout his career, including NAHB Remodeler of the Year in 2014, Home Builders Association of Maryland (HBAM) Remodeler of the Year in 2009 and Builder of the Year in 2012. He was also a winner of Remodeling Magazine’s Big 50 in 2015, the 2016 Home Builders Care Foundation Community Builder winner and a Maryland Builders Industry Association Award of Excellence winner.

Ellis has served as chair of the HBAM Remodelers Council from 2013-2014, chaired the NAHB Green Remodeling Committee in 2013, is a NAHB National Director and has served many years on the NAHB Remodelers Board of Trustees. In addition to an excellent customer service record, Ellis is an active community volunteer who embodies the remodeling industry’s charitable spirit.

House Hearing Highlights Need to Resolve Trade Disputes

Greg Ugalde, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Torrington, Conn., issued the following statement after today’s House and Ways Means Committee hearing on U.S.-China trade:

“We commend Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) for raising concerns at today’s hearing that tariffs on Chinese goods represent a $1 billion tax on housing and harm housing affordability. The hearing on U.S.-China trade only underscores the need for the administration to move quickly to resolve trade disputes that are needlessly raising the cost of key building materials and exacerbating the housing affordability crisis.

“U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer responded to Thompson’s query on housing affordability by talking about softwood lumber. Lighthizer’s reply essentially confirms that tariffs on imports of Canadian lumber; steel and aluminum; and hundreds of products from China commonly used in U.S. residential construction are contributing to the rising cost of building materials. These higher costs are putting homeownership out of reach of working American families. The administration must resolve these trade conflicts in a manner that will provide a fair deal to American home buyers and businesses.”

Housing Starts Down 11.2 Percent in December; Post Yearly Gain

Housing starts fell 11.2 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.08 million units, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department that was delayed due to the partial government shutdown. Multifamily starts fell 20.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 320,000 units while single-family production posted a 6.7 percent decline to 758,000 units.

However, single-family and multifamily starts each posted a yearly gain. Single-family production was up 2.8 percent in 2018 to a rate of 872,800, the highest annual figure since the Great Recession. Multifamily starts posted a 5.5 percent gain in 2018 to 373,700 units.

“Looking back, the December drop in housing production correlated with the peak increase in mortgage rates and corresponding decline in builder sentiment,” said NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde, a home builder and developer from Torrington, Conn. “During that time, builders adopted a cautious wait-and-see approach as demonstrated in the rise of single-family and multifamily units that were permitted but not under construction.”

“Looking ahead, we expect single-family production will be relatively flat in 2019 and multifamily starts will level off as well,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “The biggest challenge facing builders this year will be ongoing housing affordability concerns as they continue to grapple with a shortage of construction workers, a lack of buildable lots and excessive regulatory burdens.”

Overall permits—which are an indicator of future housing production—inched up 0.3 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.33 million. Single-family permits fell 2.2 percent to an 829,000 unit pace in December while multifamily permits increased 4.9 percent to an annualized rate of 497,000.

For 2018, single-family permits posted a 4 percent gain of 852,700 over the previous year while multifamily permits edged down 0.9 percent to 458,000.

Regionally in December, combined single-family and multifamily housing starts were unchanged in the Northeast. Starts fell 26.3 percent in the West, 13.2 percent in the Midwest and 6 percent in the South.

Overall permit issuance in December rose 17.1 percent in the West. Permits were down 6 percent in the Northeast, 17.6 percent in the Midwest and 2 percent in the South.

Georgia Builder Elected to Leadership of NAHB

Jerry Konter, a Savannah, Ga.-based home builder and developer with more than 40 years of experience in the home building industry, was elected as the 2019 third vice chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) during the association’s International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

Konter founded Konter Quality Homes in 1977. His company is one of the largest home building firms in Savannah and has created 17 communities and built more than 2,000 homes throughout the local metro area.

“This year we will work with Congress and the White House to ensure that housing remains a national priority and we will urge policymakers to reduce burdensome regulations that harm housing affordability,” said Konter. “We will also call on federal lawmakers to enact comprehensive housing finance reform to ensure that single-family and multifamily housing credit remains readily available and affordable.”

Konter has been active in the NAHB leadership structure at the local, state and national levels throughout his career. A senior life director, he has served on the NAHB Board of Directors for more than 25 years and is a member of the NAHB Executive Board.

He has also chaired several influential NAHB committees, including the Federal Government Affairs Committee, the State and Local Government Affairs Committee, the Conventions and Meetings Committee and the Land Development Committee. In 2013, Konter served as the NAHB State Representative from Georgia. He also served two terms as the NAHB National Area 4 chairman.

He was elected president of the Home Builders Association of Georgia in 1998 and also served as president of the Savannah Home Builders Association in 1991. Konter was twice recognized as Savannah Builder of the Year and was inducted into both the local and state Home Builder Hall of Fame. He also received several awards for outstanding service and leadership from both of the home builders associations.

Konter graduated from the University of Georgia in 1975 with a Bachelor of Business Administration from the School of Real Estate and Urban Affairs. Active from an early age in his local community, Konter was a member of the Jaycees, and served on the board of directors of the Savannah Humane Society. He served as president of the Jewish Educational Alliance, was a board member of the Savannah Jewish Federation and served as a trustee of the Savannah Jewish Foundation. Konter was also a member of the Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Planning Commission.

Konter’s wife, Marcy, is the Customer Service Director at Konter Quality Homes. They have two adult children; Mark Konter, Vice President of the company, and Tess Konter Neudeck, who lives in New York. NAHB’s newly elected senior officers serve on a multi-year leadership ladder. Konter will become chairman of NAHB’s Board of Directors in 2022.
Connecticut Builder Elected Chairman of NAHB

Greg Ugalde, a Connecticut-based builder and developer with more than 25 years of experience in the home building industry, was elected as the 2019 chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) during the association’s International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

Ugalde is president and chief legal officer of Torrington-based T&M Building Co., Inc., one of the state’s largest home builders. Since its founding in 1962, T&M has built more than 4,000 new homes in over 45 Connecticut communities for trade-up and first-time buyers. He is also the founder and owner of GFU Investments, LLC, a builder/developer minority-owned business that focuses on urban development and workforce housing.

“Easing the growing housing affordability crisis is the most important issue facing our industry in 2019,” said Ugalde. “This year we will work with policymakers to reduce burdensome regulations that are needlessly raising the cost of housing, exacerbating affordability concerns and holding back a more robust recovery in the residential construction sector. We will also urge Congress to reform the nation’s housing finance system and to adopt practical workforce development and immigration policy that will help address chronic labor shortages in the housing sector.”

Ugalde has been active in the NAHB leadership structure at the local, state and national levels throughout his career. A life director, he has served on the NAHB Board of Directors for nearly 20 years and has been a member of the NAHB Executive Board for the past decade.

He has also served on numerous NAHB committees, was a member of several NAHB task force groups, served as the vice chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee and was chairman of BUILD-PAC and three other committees. From 2006-2010, he served as the NAHB State Representative from Connecticut. He was the Moderator of the State Representatives in 2010. In 2011 and 2012, he was elected as the National Area Chairman for his region.

From 2003-2005, Ugalde was the president of the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Connecticut (HBRA). He was named the local and state Builder of the Year in 2000, has served on the HBRA board since 1999, and been a member of its executive committee since 2000. He is a three-time HBRA Distinguished Service Awards recipient, and served as chairman of the Connecticut Developers Council from 1997-2004. Ugalde received the state home building industry’s highest honor, the Charles J. LoDolce Award, in 2011.

An effective advocate and spokesperson on a broad range of housing issues, Ugalde has served on the HOMEConnecticut Steering Committee, the National Land Use Attorneys Network, the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Affordable Housing and the Town of Burlington’s IWWC and Parks & Recreation Commission. In 1998 he received the Hartford Business Journal’s 40 under 40 Award.

Community involvement is important to Ugalde. He has served on the Avon-Canton-Farmington Youth Hockey Association Board for more than 15 years, including as its president. A certified coach in hockey and little league, he has coached more than 20 teams. He also served on the Westminster School Board of Trustees, including as its Audit Committee chairman. An accomplished member of the American, Connecticut and Massachusetts bar associations, Ugalde continues to serve on the Planning & Zoning Section Executive Committee of the Connecticut Bar Association.

Ugalde and his wife, Mary-Jane, live in Burlington and have four children.

New Jersey Builder Elected as First Vice Chairman of NAHB

Dean Mon, a New Jersey-based builder and developer with more than 30 years of experience in the home building industry, was elected as the 2019 first vice chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) during the association’s International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. He is the first Hispanic to be elected to the senior officer leadership ladder of NAHB.

Mon is president of the D.R. Mon Group, Inc., which specializes in the development and construction of green urban living projects throughout New Jersey. Since 1985, the company has created communities in Morris, Hunterdon, Union, Hudson and Monmouth Counties.

“This year we will focus on easing the housing affordability crisis and providing better homeownership and rental housing opportunities for all Americans by working with Congress and the administration to remove needlessly regulatory barriers that are raising the cost of housing,” said Mon. “We will also be urging policymakers to enact comprehensive housing finance reform to ensure that creditworthy home buyers have access to affordable home loans and we will work with lawmakers to keep housing a national priority.”

Mon has been active in the NAHB leadership structure at the local, state and national levels throughout his career. A senior life director with more than 20 years of service, Mon has chaired several influential NAHB committees, including the Federal Government Affairs Committee, the Construction Safety & Health Committee, and the Single Family Production Builders Committee. He also served three terms as the NAHB National Area 2 chairman and is a member of the NAHB Executive Board.

Actively involved in the New Jersey building industry, Mon has served as director, executive board member and president of the New Jersey Builders Association (NJBA). As the 1996 president of the NJBA, Mon led the charge to amend the state’s Uniform Construction Code Act to require that all codes must be necessary, practical and cost-effective. This review resulted in an annual savings of approximately $4,000 per home. He was inducted into the NJBA Hall of Fame in 1996 and named the NJBA Builder of the Year in 1998. In 2000, he received the NJBA Affordable Housing Award.

Mon has held every leadership position from committee chair to president at his local association, the Metropolitan Builders & Contractors Association of New Jersey.

A New Jersey resident since 1964, Mon attended Newark College of Engineering where he acquired a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering. Mon served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1970, achieving the rank of sergeant, and served a tour of duty in Vietnam.

NAHB’s newly elected senior officers serve on a multi-year leadership ladder. Mon will become chairman of the NAHB Board of Directors in 2020.

Florida Builder Elected Second Vice Chairman of NAHB

John “Chuck” Fowke, a Tampa, Fla.-based custom home builder with 40 years of experience in the home building industry, was elected as the 2019 second vice chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) during the association’s International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

As founder and president of Homes by John C. Fowke, Inc., he has built hundreds of luxury homes throughout the Tampa Bay area.

“Our focus in 2019 is to address mounting housing affordability concerns and ensure that homeownership remain a national priority,” said Fowke. “We will work with policymakers to reduce and remove regulations that harm small businesses and raise housing costs. We will also urge Congress to enact meaningful housing finance reform that maintains an appropriate level of federal support to ensure sufficient mortgage liquidity for homeownership and rental housing opportunities.”

Fowke has been active in the NAHB leadership structure at the local, state and national levels throughout his career. A senior life director, he has served on the NAHB Board of Directors for more than 20 years and is a long-time member of the association’s Executive Board. He has also served as the NAHB National Area Chairman for Area 5, NAHB State Representative for Florida, moderator of the National Area Chairmen and chairman of the NAHB Audit Committee.

Fowke was named Builder of the Year by the Tampa Bay Builders Association (TBBA) in 2006 and 2009 and is a past president and life director of the TBBA. He also was president of the Florida Home Builders Association (FHBA) and continues to serve as a life director. In 2014, the FHBA awarded Fowke the prestigious Dick Baker Award and he was a recipient of the Florida Home Builders Eagle Award in 2012.

Actively involved in his community, he has served as chairman of the Charity Women’s Crisis Center’s Addition & Renovation Committee. As builder of the TBBA Showcase Home, Fowke contributed to the efforts of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Joshua House. He recently completed a project for the Gary Sinise Foundation for a military widow and her children. Fowke also held a successful fundraising event for Dick Vitale and the V Foundation in support of cancer research. In addition, he served on the city of Tampa and State of Florida Hurricane Codes Committee and the Workers’ Compensation Task Force.

He and his wife, Annalisa, have a blended family of seven children.

NAHB’s newly elected senior officers serve on a multi-year leadership ladder. Fowke will become chairman of NAHB’s Board of Directors in 2021.

2019 NAHB International Builders’ Show Draws Largest Crowd in 10 Years

More than 67,000 home building professionals from around the world filled the exhibit halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center as The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) hosted the 75th anniversary of the NAHB International Builders’ Show® (IBS) Feb. 19-21.

IBS and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) once again combined for the annual Design & Construction Week® (DCW), which drew over 100,000 attendees.

“As the International Builders’ Show celebrates 75 years, it remains the premier event for the housing industry,” said Geoff Cassidy, NAHB senior vice president of exhibitions and meetings. “With the largest attendance in 10 years, we’re proving once again that IBS is the only place to experience such a diverse collection of innovative products, education sessions and networking opportunities all in one place.”

Exhibit space for IBS also expanded from last year’s 583,000 square feet to more than 608,000 square feet, where nearly 1,500 exhibitors displayed the latest in building products and technology. DCW featured more than 2,000 exhibitors occupying more than one million square feet of indoor and outdoor spaces. Many of the exhibitors noted the increased foot traffic this year.

“The experience during the three days of the show has been great. It’s been a very busy show, a lot of fun and we’ve been interacting with a lot of builders, contractors and other vendors at the show,” said Blake R. Edwards, Sr. Product Marketing Manager Controls & Indoor Air Quality at Lennox. “We’re getting a lot of good insight from listening to the customers and the builders that come here that have questions on our products but we’re also giving a lot of valuable feedback to them as well.”

In addition to meeting suppliers and seeing product demos throughout the three-day show, attendees networked with peers and attended any of more than 130 education sessions led by experts on a wide range of industry topics.

“Everywhere you go at IBS, there’s something to see, something to learn,” said Brandon Hines, owner of Hines Homes in Maumelle, Ark. “The show floor was very impressive, and honestly, a little overwhelming at first because there’s just so many interesting products to learn about and people to talk to. But for me, the most beneficial part [of IBS] has been the education sessions. We’re focused on growing and improving our business, and each session we attended provided us specific ideas on how we can achieve that.”

Next year, IBS and Design & Construction Week will be held in Las Vegas Jan. 21-23, 2020.

Nation’s Home Builders Elect Leadership for 2019

Members of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) elected four senior officers to top leadership positions within the federation during the association’s International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

With more than 700 affiliated state and local home builders associations and more than 140,000 members across the country, NAHB represents the interests of the nation’s housing professionals through advocacy, education and research.

Taking the helm as NAHB’s Chairman of the Board this year is Greg Ugalde, a Connecticut builder and developer with extensive experience in the home building industry. Ugalde is president and chief legal officer of Torrington-based T&M Building Co., Inc., one of the state’s largest home builders. Since its founding in 1962, T&M has built more than 4,000 new homes in over 45 Connecticut communities for trade-up and first-time buyers. He is also the founder and owner of GFU Investments, LLC, a builder/developer minority-owned business that focuses on urban development and workforce housing.

“A top priority this year will be to address ongoing housing affordability concerns,” said Ugalde. “On average, government regulation accounts for nearly 25 percent of the price of building a single-family home and more than 30 percent of the cost of a typical multifamily development. We will urge federal policymakers to take appropriate actions to ease regulatory burdens in order to put families in homes, create jobs and move the economy forward. We will also call on Congress to advance comprehensive housing finance reform and to adopt sensible workforce development and immigration policy that will help our industry fill open jobs.”

Also moving up on the association’s leadership ladder during NAHB’s Las Vegas board meeting was Dean Mon, a New Jersey-based builder and developer with more than 30 years of experience in the home building industry. He was elected as First Vice Chairman of the Board. Mon is president of the D.R. Mon Group, Inc., which specializes in the development and construction of green urban living projects throughout New Jersey. Since 1985, the company has created communities in Morris, Hunterdon, Union, Hudson and Monmouth Counties.

John “Chuck” Fowke, a Tampa, Fla-based custom home builder with 40 years of experience in the home building industry, was elected as Second Vice Chairman of the Board. Fowke is founder and president of Homes by John C. Fowke, Inc. His company has built hundreds of luxury homes throughout the Tampa Bay area.

Jerry Konter joined the NAHB leadership ladder with his election as Third Vice Chairman of the Board. A Savannah, Ga.-based home builder with 40 years of experience in the home building industry, Konter founded Konter Quality Homes in 1977. His company is one of the largest home building firms in Savannah and has established 17 communities and built more than 2,000 homes throughout the local metro area.

2018 NAHB Chairman Randy Noel, from LaPlace, La., remains on the leadership ladder as Immediate Past Chairman. Noel is president of Reve Inc., a custom home building firm that has developed more than 1,000 custom homes in the greater New Orleans area.

Rounding out the association’s leadership is NAHB Chief Executive Officer Jerry Howard, from Washington, D.C. Howard heads up a professional staff of more than 240 working out of the National Housing Center in Washington. He has served as the association’s CEO/EVP since February of 2001. Previously, Howard was NAHB’s chief tax counsel.

NAHB Announces Best of IBS Product Winners at 2019 International Builders’ Show

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) named the winning products in its seventh annual Best of IBS Awards during the NAHB International Builders’ Show® (IBS) in Las Vegas. The awards were presented during a ceremony on the final day of the show.

This year’s Best of IBS Awards received more than 300 entries. Decided by a panel of 31 independent judges made up of attending reporters and building professionals, the awards were given in nine categories, plus an overall Best in Show award.

Awards were given to exhibitors with a product or line that shows the best combination of design, functionality and innovation, as well as its usefulness to consumers and/or home builders.

The winners were:

  • Best in Show Winner: Easy Connect Joining System by Andersen Windows, Inc.
  • Best Kitchen Product: Cafe 4-in-1 Oven with Advantium Technology by GE Appliances
  • Best Bath Product: Redi Your Way by Tile Redi USA, LLC
  • Best Energy Efficient Product: POWERHOUSE™ 3.0 Solar Shingle by RGS Energy
  • Best Green Building Product: Heatlok HFO by Demilec Spray Foam Insulation
  • Best Home Technology Product: Leviton Load Center Wi-Fi enabled Circuit Breaker by Leviton Manufacturing Company
  • Best Indoor Living Product: Heat & Glo Foundation Series Luxury Gas Fireplace by Heatilator, Heat & Glo and Majestic (Hearth & Home Technologies)
  • Best Outdoor Living Product: CAMO DRIVE by CAMO Fasteners and The Soho by Hampstead
  • Best Window and Door Product: Easy Connect Joining System by Andersen Windows, Inc.
  • Most Innovative Building Material Product: NTI GF200 Combi-Furnace by NTI Inc.

“Judges evaluated an impressive array of more than 300 product entries in nine categories up for consideration for this year’s Best of IBS Awards,” said Buddy Hughes, NAHB Conventions and Meetings Committee Chairman. “The competition was fierce, but these winners truly represent the best of the best in terms of innovation, design and functionality of the products going into today’s homes.”

Awards were given to exhibitors with a product or line that shows the best combination of design, functionality and innovation, as well as its usefulness to consumers and/or home builders.

For more information on the Best of IBS Awards, visit buildersshow.com/bestofibs.

NAHB Professional Women in Building Council Honors Woman of the Year

The Professional Women in Building (PWB) Council of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has recognized Betsy Sheppard, Director of Strategy at Gilbert & Sheppard Group in Ellijay, Ga., as NAHB PWB Woman of the Year for her dedication to promoting the efforts of women in building-related fields who contribute to, and advocate for, the industry.

PWB members work in all aspects of the building industry—as owners, builders, remodelers, architects, suppliers, marketing experts, designers and in finance and real estate.

Sheppard brings a decades-long career in real estate marketing to her leadership of Gilbert & Sheppard, a full service marketing and advertising firm whose primary focus is the residential housing industry. Clients include a number of developers and builders of active adult communities.

A charter member and former board chair of the PWB Council of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association, Sheppard led the team that created the brand for that council. She serves on the national PWB board of trustees and has oversight of the council’s membership subcommittee and local PWB councils in the northeast region of the U.S. She serves on the NAHB 55+ Housing Council board of trustees and at her local HBA has chaired the 55+ Housing Council and served on the Sales & Marketing, Green Building and Remodelers councils.

“Betsy has been an instrumental PWB leader and a mentor to many women coming into our industry,” said Judy Dinelle, CAPS, CGP, chair of the NAHB PWB Council and building ambassador of 84 Lumber in Asheville, N.C., serving as the company's liaison to home building associations. “She's fully invested in the housing industry, her community and the success of her co-workers, clients and peers.”

In addition to honoring outstanding members, PWB awards scholarships to local councils and students in their communities. For the 2018/2019 award cycle, PWB gave $8,000 in scholarships to high school students across the country through its annual awards and recognition competitions and programs.

Six Leaders Named ‘Ones to Watch’ at International Builders’ Show

Six young building industry professionals were honored today as “Ones to Watch” at the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

"These emerging leaders are already making quite the impact on the home building industry," said Rich Robinson, chair of the NAHB Young Professionals Committee. "We are thrilled to showcase these young professionals and look forward to seeing their continued growth and contributions to the industry."

Associates. Christopher Cowan is the senior manager of CohnReznick LLP in Eatontown, N.J., and a member of the Shore Builders Association of Central New Jersey. Cowan was one of the founding members of his local HBA’s Young Professionals Committee and currently serves as the chairman. He serves on several other committees on the local and state levels. His Young Professionals Committee has created outreach programs like “First Time Homebuyer,” and has been working with local vocational schools, high schools and colleges to provide guidance to students about careers in the home building industry.

Custom Builders. Casey Cloward is the owner of Raykon Construction in Salem, Utah, and is the president of the Utah Valley Home Builders Association. He chairs the Cougar House, a program that has $1.3 million in endowed scholarship money towards the Brigham Young University Construction Management program. His business continues to grow, going from a finish carpenter/cabinet builder in 2008 doing $100,000 in business to being the general contractor for 10-14,000 square foot homes valuing $2-4 million.

Green. Anthony Maschmedt is the principal at Dwell Development + Design/Build in Seattle and a member of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties (MBAKS). Maschmedt serves on the board of Built Green, MBAKS's residential green building program, and is constantly offering his time to speak at various events. His work has tremendously inspired others, including home owners who themselves have gone on to become Built Green members and launch green building-related ventures of their own.

Multifamily. Kyle Bach is the CEO of The Annex Group in Indianapolis, which provides student housing in underserved campus markets and affordable housing in large university communities. He oversees the company’s Strategy, Capital and Leadership platforms for all the companies under The Annex Group umbrella. His passion, in university communities, is to provide housing opportunities that serve as a catalyst for economic development, not only for the residents of the projects, but also the communities and campuses they serve.

Professional Women in Building. Cassy Lynn Mathis is a junior interior designer with Haven Design Works in Suwanee, Ga., and a member of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association (GAHBA). In 2015, Mathis was instrumental in helping to form an under 40 segment of the GAHBA called ELEVATE. The group continued to grow under Mathis's leadership and was eventually added into the GAHBA as its own council. While maintaining a full-time job as a junior interior designer, Mathis returned to school to purse a degree in Interior Design to solidify her career in the home building industry.

Sales and Marketing. Anya Chrisanthon is the Wayne, Pa.-based host of New Construction Marketing Podcast. As an immigrant from the former Soviet Union to the U.S., Anya knows what it feels like to struggle and overcome challenges. She experienced food shortages and hunger, and then moved to a country where she didn’t speak the language. Going through these challenges and others made her empathic and generous toward others. She has experienced great success in new home sales and marketing and works to help lift others up as well. Anya is a giver, a positive influence on others, an industry innovator and a rising star.

NAHB Professional Women in Building Council Honors Three Outstanding Members

The Professional Women in Building (PWB) Council of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has recognized three individuals for their contributions to the organization and to the home building industry. The awards were presented during the NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

PWB members work in all aspects of the building industry—as owners, builders, remodelers, architects, suppliers, marketing experts, designers and in finance and real estate.

Alicia Vincent, executive vice president of the Greater Birmingham Association of Home Builders (GBAHB) in Irondale, Ala., was honored as NAHB 2018 Executive Officer of the Year.

A member of the GBAHB for years before she became its executive officer in 2014, Vincent works diligently to ensure that members’ voices are heard. She is always looking for ways to improve and grow the association’s most popular events, and under her leadership, non-dues revenue and event participation has soared. As a member champion, Vincent served in various roles at her state, local and national PWB councils. At the national level of PWB, she served as board member and regional trustee.

Luellen Smith, chair of the Master Builders of King and Snohomish Counties (MBAKS) PWB and Membership Councils in Bellevue, Wash., was honored as the NAHB 2018 PWB Member of the Year.

Smith, who runs her company Rhino Wine Cellars with her husband, led the MBAKS PWB Council in 2018 to a membership recruitment record and significantly increased their meeting and event attendance. Smith is known for dedicating her time to help develop and mentor future women leaders in the PWB Council.

Joyce Duerfeldt, office manager of Nationwide Contractor's Alliance in Olympia, Wash., was honored as NAHB 2018 PWB National Member of the Year in recognition of her leadership on the national PWB executive board and her service as a regional and area PWB trustee. The National Member of the Year award is given to PWB members with outstanding service to the industry who are not linked to a local PWB council.

As a member of the NAHB PWB Executive Board, Duerfeldt wears many hats. Notably, she oversees the national PWB Strategic Plan, helping subcommittee chairs implement their parts of the plan, and consistently following up on details of the plan. She is a dedicated NAHB PWB regional and area trustee and she is working to establish a statewide PWB council in Washington.

“Alicia, Luellen and Joyce all bring great vision and energy to PWB,” said Judy Dinelle, CAPS, CGP, chair of the NAHB PWB Council and building ambassador of 84 Lumber in Asheville, N.C., serving as the company's liaison to home building associations. “Their passion for PWB and desire to see others in the industry succeed make them effective and productive leaders.”

In addition to honoring outstanding members, PWB awards scholarships to local councils and students in their communities. For the 2018/2019 award cycle, PWB gave $8,000 in scholarships to high school students across the country through its annual awards and recognition competitions and programs.

Energy Efficiency and Indoor Air Quality Top Buyers’ Green Preferences

When buyers think of a green home, they think of features that will first save energy and second improve the quality of the air in the home, according survey results released yesterday by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) at the NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. NAHB surveyed nearly 4,000 home buyers, both recent and prospective, on the types of features they prefer to have in their home, including eco-friendly components and designs.

To achieve their energy efficiency goals, buyers would most like to have windows and appliances rated ENERGY STAR, efficient lighting (using less energy than traditional bulbs), and insulation higher than required by code. More than half of home buyers also find these indoor air quality features essential or desirable: a home dehumidification system, an electronic air cleaner, and low volatile organic compound (VOC) materials.

“It’s confirmation that the most attractive green features for home buyers are those that help them save money on energy costs as well as those that improve the air quality inside their homes,” stated Rose Quint, AVP of survey research at NAHB.

A roof partially or completely covered by plants is the least appealing green feature, as only 24 percent of buyers would want to have it in their next home. Many home buyers are simply indifferent toward other green features, such as roof-mounted wind turbines, rainwater collection systems and recycled material or prefabricated building components.

Consumers are attracted to the cost savings green features provide. Nearly half of home buyers are willing to invest between $1,000 and $9,999 for $1,000 annual savings on their utility bills, with 37 percent willing to spend upward of $10,000. The average amount increases based on the price of the home, ranging from $6,653 for homes priced under $150,000, to $10,560 for homes valued at $500,000 or more.

Survey findings also show that most home buyers would prefer a number of green options versus the non-green alternative: 74 percent would rather have features and finishes made of more expensive materials that last longer versus 26 percent who would prefer them to be made of cheaper materials that need to be replaced more often. Similarly, 65 percent would opt for low-maintenance landscaping versus 35 percent who prefer a conventional lawn.

Details on additional home preferences, including smart-home technology features, are included in NAHB’s full 300-page report, What Home Buyers Really Want (2019 edition).

HUD Secretary Pledges to Work with Builders to Tackle Housing Affordability Crisis

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Dr. Ben Carson today discussed how the government and home builders can work together to tackle the nation’s affordability crisis in an address to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Board of Directors during its annual meeting in Las Vegas.

“Few conditions afflict the hearts of Americans as much as a shortage of affordable homes,” said Carson. “By aligning the conditions for increased affordable housing supply with the best interests of home buyers, builders, innovators and regulators, we can unlock the production of more affordable homes for countless American families in the years to come.”

The HUD secretary stressed the importance of reducing regulatory costs, stating that he often cites NAHB research that shows nearly 25 percent of the cost of a single-family home stems from federal, state and local regulations and that the cost is even higher for multifamily development.

“We are looking into ways that would incentivize local officials to cut back on archaic state and local regulatory barriers, such as outmoded zoning and land use restrictions,” said Carson. “The free market may be guided by an ‘invisible hand,’ but unnecessary government and regulatory barriers act like ‘invisible handcuffs.’ It’s time to untie the hands of our nation’s home builders by putting the ‘free’ back into the free market.”

In a move that will help spur the production of badly needed apartment units, Carson announced that HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs is expanding the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Pilot Program into the agency’s New Construction and Substantial Rehabilitation loan products with the publication of a new notice. This will make it easier for builders to use FHA-insured loans to finance Low Income Housing Tax Credit projects.

As chairman of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council, Carson spoke about opportunities for builders and other private sector participants to invest in opportunity zones, which are designed to incentivize economic development in under-served communities. Developers may use a Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund to help fund projects that could help increase residential housing within the designated opportunity zone.

“Homeownership is the most powerful mechanism for wealth creation in our nation,” said Carson. “Both HUD and NAHB share a common mantra: homes are not just roofs over people’s heads, they are at the heart of building communities. If we continue to align our efforts to ensure safe, fair and affordable housing is within reach for all Americans, we can build a better America with you.”

Before addressing NAHB’s board members, Carson participated in the 75th anniversary of the International Builders’ Show by touring the latest building products and innovations on the exhibit floor.

Multifamily Builder and Developer Confidence Weakens Slightly in Fourth Quarter

Confidence in the market for new multifamily housing weakened slightly in the fourth quarter, according to results from the Multifamily Market Survey (MMS) released today by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The MMS produces two separate indices. The Multifamily Production Index (MPI) dropped one point to 47 compared to the previous quarter, indicating weakening confidence. Meanwhile, the Multifamily Vacancy Index (MVI) moved down two points to 45, representing a slight improvement in confidence about the market for existing apartments.

The MPI measures builder and developer sentiment about current conditions in the apartment and condo market on a scale of 0 to 100. The index and all of its components are scaled so that a number below 50 indicates that more respondents report conditions are getting worse than report conditions are improving. The MPI has been slightly below 50 for two consecutive quarters.

The MPI is a weighted average of three key elements of the multifamily housing market: construction of low-rent units—apartments that are supported by low-income tax credits or other government subsidy programs; market-rate rental units—apartments that are built to be rented at the price the market will hold; and for-sale units—condominiums. All three components were below 50 in the fourth quarter. The component measuring low-rent units fell 11 points to 48, while the component measuring market rate rental units increased three points to 49 and the component measuring for-sale units rose five points to 44.

The MVI measures the multifamily housing industry's perception of vacancies in existing apartments. It is a weighted average of current occupancy indexes for class A, B, and C multifamily units, and can vary from 0 to 100, where a number under 50 indicates more property managers believe vacancies are decreasing than increasing. With a reading of 45, the MVI improved two points from the previous quarter, returning to where it had been in the second quarter.

"We saw a big drop in the component for low rent starts, even though that is the segment of the market where demand tends to be the strongest," said Steve Lawson, president of The Lawson Companies in Virginia Beach, Va., and chairman of NAHB’s Multifamily Council. "Rising construction costs and difficulty with getting projects approved have made building particularly challenging in some parts of the country."

"The MPI is down a point and under 50 for the second straight quarter, indicating a slight weakening for multifamily developer sentiment," said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. "This is in line with our 2019 forecast that multifamily starts will level off and edge down slightly from last year’s very solid rate of production."

Historically, the MPI and MVI have performed well as leading indicators of U.S. Census figures for multifamily starts and vacancy rates, providing information on likely movement in the Census figures one to three quarters in advance.

For data tables on the MPI and MVI, visit www.nahb.org/mms.

For more information on the NAHB Multifamily program, please visit NAHB Multifamily: https://www.nahb.org/en/members/committees-and-councils/councils/multifamily-council/nahb-multifamily.aspx.

Colorado Kitchen Receives ‘Room of the Year’ Honors in National Design Competition

“Modern Classic,” the remodeled kitchen in a Greenwood Village, Colo., single-family home, was named the Room of the Year in the 2018 Best in American Living™ Awards (BALA) by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The Room of the Year award was sponsored by Café.

A stunning oversized island of gray-veined white marble, contrasting gray and black cabinets, white walls and trim and black-framed sliding glass doors to the backyard living space redefine the kitchen in this 1978 custom home in a dramatic remodel by architect/designers KD Project Design LLC and JM Kitchen and Bath and builder Malibu Remodeling.

Black painted cabinets and brushed gold hardware were used to visually define cooking and serving areas, while glazed gray cabinets and white walls transform the rest of the kitchen into a crisp, bright, inviting space. The large black-framed doors contrast with white trim throughout the kitchen and windowed nook to draw the eye to the outdoors. Five staggered crystal pendant lights, combined with an ebony drum shade in the nook, complete the contrast that is the hallmark of this remodel.

“This kitchen remodel uses contrasting colors in a visually beautiful way that also defines the different work and use zones in the room,” said Don Ruthroff, Principal at Dahlin Group Architecture Planning, NAHB’s 2018 Judging Chair and 2018 Best in American Living Awards Subcommittee Chair. “The BALA program celebrates the designers and builders who go the extra mile to bring out the best in a structure.”

In its 35th year, BALA recognizes outstanding achievement by builders and design professionals in all sectors of the residential housing industry including single-family production, custom, rental, affordable, interiors, remodeling, community and international. Award winners were announced at the annual NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

Additional information about the 2018 BALA winners, including photographs of the projects, can be found at bestinamericanliving.com.

San Francisco Home Renovation Named ‘Remodel of the Year’ in National Design Competition

Laidley Cottage, a renovated rear-yard cottage in San Francisco, was named the Remodel of the Year in the 2018 Best in American Living™ Awards (BALA) by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The Remodel of the Year award was sponsored by Profile.

Like much of San Francisco’s housing stock, the Laidley Street Cottage was built to last 100 years and was at the end of its useful life, with all building systems needing upgrading. In the redesign, architect/designer Red Dot Studio and builder MT Development added a modest amount of square footage, focusing on keeping the property the right size for the site while seismic retrofitting, adding new building systems, updating the look and bringing in daylight.

The cottage now has a window-filled façade looking out onto a front yard where an artful fence and gate structure provides privacy to the occupants on the living level. The living space extends into the front yard, making outdoor space and fresh air part of daily living in the home.

The master bedroom has a private rear garden, and the guest bedroom has a balcony, providing additional indoor-outdoor connections.

“Great design taps into the emotions that make a house a home,” said Don Ruthroff, Principal at Dahlin Group Architecture Planning, NAHB’s 2018 Judging Chair and 2018 Best in American Living Awards Subcommittee Chair. “The BALA program celebrates the designers and builders as ‘the best of the best.’”

In its 35th year, BALA recognizes outstanding achievement by builders and design professionals in all sectors of the residential housing industry including single-family production, custom, rental, affordable, interiors, remodeling, community and international. Award winners were announced at the annual NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

Additional information about the 2018 BALA winners, including photographs of the projects, can be found at bestinamericanliving.com.

Montana Luxury Condominium Building Named Community of the Year in National Design Competition

The Willson Residences in Bozeman, Mont., an outstanding example of adaptive reuse that converted the old Gallatin County High School building into 16 luxury condominiums, was named the Multifamily Community of the Year in the 2018 Best in American Living™ Awards (BALA) by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The Multifamily Community of the Year award was sponsored by Hotpoint.

The abandoned century-old brick building was in a dangerous state of decay before builder, developer and interior designer Bridger Builders and architect/designer Comma-Q Architecture took on its renovation.

The initial recovery of the structure—selective demolition, extensive structural strengthening and mitigation of hazardous materials—revealed striking architectural details that had been hidden for years.

Each unit within the Willson Residences is unique and is designed to highlight the character of these historic details while delivering the essence of contemporary urban loft living, complete with underground parking. Modern design features include expansive windows, private balconies, alcohol-burning fireplaces, high-end kitchen appliances and cabinetry.

“This impressive renovation is so well-executed, from the lovely symmetry to the juxtaposition of the frieze and hanging orbs,” said Don Ruthroff, Principal at Dahlin Group Architecture Planning, NAHB’s 2018 Judging Chair and 2018 Best in American Living Awards Subcommittee Chair.

In its 35th year, BALA recognizes outstanding achievement by builders and design professionals in all sectors of the residential housing industry including single-family production, custom, rental, affordable, interiors, remodeling, community and international. Award winners were announced at the annual NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

Additional information about the 2018 BALA winners, including photographs of the projects, can be found at bestinamericanliving.com.

Home in Paradise Valley, Ariz., Named Home of the Year in National Design Competition

Outdoor In, a striking custom home that opens out to the rocky red hills and colorful desert plants in Paradise Valley, Ariz., was named Home of the Year in the 2018 Best in American Living™ Awards (BALA) by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The Home of the Year award was sponsored by Monogram.

Positioned near the base of iconic Camelback Mountain, Outside In celebrates outdoor living with a distinctive feature that seamlessly connects the indoor and outdoor living spaces. A large pocketing door when retracted opens most of the interior to the outdoor swimming pool and terrace. Large windows and the home’s southward orientation bring in spectacular natural light.

“This home is a great example of desert contemporary and uses textural materials reminiscent of the local landscape in all the right places, bringing the outside in,” said Don Ruthroff, Principal at Dahlin Group Architecture Planning, NAHB’s 2018 Judging Chair and 2018 Best in American Living Awards Subcommittee Chair. “It has clean lines, is beautiful and consistent, and is overall very well thought out.”

The house was designed by Drewett Works in Scottsdale and built by BedBrock Developers LLC based in Paradise Valley.

In its 35th year, BALA recognizes outstanding achievement by builders and design professionals in all sectors of the residential housing industry including single-family production, custom, rental, affordable, interiors, remodeling, community and international. Award winners were announced at the annual NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

Additional information about the 2018 BALA winners, including photographs of the projects, can be found at bestinamericanliving.com.

Best in American Living Awards™ Program Announces 2018 Hall of Fame Inductees

The Best in American Living Awards™ (BALA) program inducted its sixth class into the BALA Hall of Fame during the annual NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. The Hall of Fame awards recognize innovative, well-respected individuals and companies in the building industry who have significantly affected residential design and construction.

The 2018 BALA Hall of Fame class includes:

Jillian Pritchard Cooke. Cooke is the founder of Wellness Within Your Walls, which offers education and certifications to building and design professionals and connects them with healthy eco-sensitive products to create sustainable, non-toxic indoor environments for their clients. Cooke is also the founder of interior design firm DES-SYN which was established in 1991 and primarily serves the residential building industry. She opened BEE in Atlanta in 2010, a retail boutique promoting fashion and home furnishing products that meet a variety of non-toxic, sensitivity, and ecological standards. Cooke has more than 30 years of experience with design projects in New York, Philadelphia, Boston Los Angeles, London, and Atlanta.

Arthur C. Danielian, FAIA. During his 55-plus years career, Danielian has made his mark in the field of residential architecture. He pioneered innovative residential housing concepts such as wide and shallow lot configurations, combo/condos, and various improvements of the zero-lot-line concept, which had a substantial and positive impact on master planned communities in Orange County, Calif., and beyond. He was one of the first architects to embrace a market-driven design model, working with market researchers to identify market profiles for each of his builder clients. In addition to exemplary achievement in his profession, Danielian has given back to the homebuilding industry in many ways and helped mentor the next generation of architectural students and industry professionals.

Mike Kephart. Mike Kephart is the founder of Kephart Architects, a firm focused on the design of residential communities. Since his retirement in 2008, the concept of “housing for later life” has consumed his attention, both for his own needs and the growing number of people aged 50 and older. He founded Sidekick Homes, a company that produces accessory dwelling units that that are accessible for people with a wide range of abilities and can be placed on single-family lots adjacent to existing homes or used as new construction. He also co-authored a book about the later-life housing, called “Building for Boomers.”

Additional information about the 2018 BALA Hall of Fame inductees can be found at bestinamericanliving.com.

Delaware Coastal Community Named Community of the Year in National Design Competition

Bayside, a mixed-use coastal resort community in Selbyville, Del., was named the Community of the Year in the 2018 Best in American Living™ Awards (BALA) by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Bayside is designed to enhance the land’s beauty, while providing plentiful amenities and residential choices, including townhomes, villa-style duplexes and single-family dwellings.

In Bayside, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, miles of trails and a conservation area maintain abundant open space. BALA judges praised how well developer Carl M. Freeman Companies and land planner Parker Rodriguez integrated the community with nature, taking full advantage of its prime waterfront site.

Amenities include community pools, fitness centers, tennis facilities, stocked ponds, a dog park, poolside bars, and an integrated retail and entertainment venue. The community offers residents a variety of activities including kayaking, paddle boarding, life enrichment classes, kids’ programming and community events. The Bayside app and active online presence keep the community informed and engaged.

“This community takes cues from the local environment in its design and has a continuity in its contextual architecture,” said Don Ruthroff, Principal at Dahlin Group Architecture Planning, NAHB’s 2018 Judging Chair and 2018 Best in American Living Awards Subcommittee Chair. “Its abundant amenities help residents make the most of its leisure shoreside lifestyle.”

In its 35th year, BALA recognizes outstanding achievement by builders and design professionals in all sectors of the residential housing industry including single-family production, custom, rental, affordable, interiors, remodeling, community and international. Award winners were announced at the annual NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

Additional information about the 2018 BALA winners, including photographs of the projects, can be found at bestinamericanliving.com.

NAHB Names Four Global Innovation Award Winners

The Hillside Software Inc. Augmented Reality Home Planner, Invent Dev Inc. Virtual Model Homes, Mbrico Tile Decks and Roofs and the Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US MLZ One-Way Ceiling Cassette are the four winners of the 2018 National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Global Innovation Award. Representatives for all four products were honored yesterday at the NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

“The products recognized by this year’s Global Innovation Awards offer home builders new options for building more sustainable, more efficient and more comfortable homes, as well as unique ways to plan and sell them to buyers,” said S. Robert August, chair of the NAHB Global Opportunities Board. “We’re really excited to welcome these winners to our family of innovators who have been honored with this award.”

The Augmented Reality Home Planner, made by Hillside Software Inc. of Englewood, Colo., brings augmented reality technology to home builders and product showrooms in a simple and affordable way. The app lets potential customers use a smart phone or tablet camera to create a view of a home’s interior and then drop 3-D virtual furniture piece or builder package right into the room to see how it will look.

Virtual Model Homes made by Invent Dev Inc. of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, lets potential buyers put on virtual reality goggles and tour a virtual model home—all without a physical model home having been built. As customers look around using the headset, they can see what the home would look like with any available floor plan and with various finishes and furnishings. Customers can even see the views out the windows of various units.

Mbrico Tile Decks made by Mbrico Decks & Roofs of Bettendorf, Iowa, feature a premium porcelain tile system that is easy to install and requires little maintenance. The durable anti-slip tiles resist mold, thermal shock, wind lift, chemical damage and stain, and are available in many chromatically stable colors.

MLZ One-Way Ceiling Cassette made by Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US (METUS) out of Suwanee, Ga., installs into a ceiling to provide energy-efficient heating and cooling to a single room. With streamlined design, easy installation and remote control, the unit uses specially engineered moving slats to deliver heat and cooling evenly to a room.

Global Awards finalists were TraXtar made by Anthony Innovations of Thomastown, Victoria, Australia, and WhisperFresh Select made by Panasonic PENSA of Osaka, Japan.

NAHB Global Membership connects each participant to thousands of the world’s top builders, manufacturers and suppliers. Members enjoy exclusive access to a wide range of opportunities and home building industry resources, including programs such as the Global Innovation Award.

Longtime NAHB Remodelers Member Paul Sullivan Inducted into National Remodeling Hall of Fame

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelers inducted Paul Sullivan, CAPS, CGP, CGR, a remodeler from Newton, Mass., into the National Remodeling Hall of Fame for his contributions to the remodeling industry. Sullivan was recognized at the NAHB Remodelers All-Stars Celebration during the NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Las Vegas.

“As a member of NAHB and NAHB Remodelers for over 25 years, Paul Sullivan has had a profound impact on the remodeling industry at the local, state and national levels,” said the 2018 Chair of NAHB Remodelers, Joanne Theunissen, CGP, CGR. “Paul uses his own involvement and interest in the remodeling industry to inspire others to participate in NAHB. It is an honor to induct Paul into the National Remodeling Hall of Fame for his irreplaceable contributions to our industry.”

Sullivan has been an NAHB member since 1992 and NAHB Remodelers member since 1993. At the Builders and Remodelers Association of Greater Boston, Sullivan served twice as the Remodelers Council chair and as the local president in 2001. In 2017, he served as the state president for the New Hampshire Home Builders Association. Sullivan was also the 2014 NAHB Remodelers chairman; 2017-2018 National Area 1 Chairman; is currently the vice-chair for NAHB’s Leading Suppliers Council; and is a life director of NAHB.

In 2013, Sullivan joined the NAHB Green Building Standard’s Consensus Committee. He championed the reasons for remodelers to have their own standard and helped to create what is now the remodeling specific section of the National Green Building Standard.

Sullivan was instrumental in adding a remodeled home, separate from The New American Home, at IBS each year to represent the interests of the nearly 50,000 NAHB members who remodel. In 2017, the first New American Remodel was produced in Orlando, Fla. The program is currently remodeling the fourth New American Home sponsored by the NAHB Leading Suppliers Council, which will debut in 2020 in Las Vegas.

For more information about remodeling, visit www.nahb.org/remodel.

Best in American Living™ Awards Shine a Spotlight on Top Design Trends for 2019

Over 150 single-family, multifamily, interior design, remodeling and community projects were honored at the 2018 Best in American Living™ Awards (BALA) ceremony held during the 2019 National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

Judges awarded nine Best in Region, five Of the Year and one Judges’ Discretionary Award for Community Spirit. In addition, one Game Changer award was given as well as one “Wow!” award, a special award given to a project with a jaw-dropping, one-of-a-kind design detail. These projects represent the nation’s best in home and community design, interior design and remodeling.

BALA winners showcase top design trends that home buyers can expect to see in homes and communities over the next several years, among them:

Black window frames. Now available at almost every price point, designers are gravitating to this purposeful frame choice.

The ceiling as the fifth wall of design. When you’ve finished all four walls, why not look up? Architects are taking advantage of this seemingly blank canvas and transforming it with creative textures, colors and lighting.

Creative integration of outdoor spaces. Even on the smallest and narrowest of lots, winners found inspired solutions to provide home owners with ample outdoor living.

Delineation of spaces through mixed materials. Whether pairing two unique materials, like stone and brick, or switching directions of one material, homes have better defined spaces—both outdoor and in—through mixed materials.

Indoor/outdoor connections. A trend that’s getting stronger each year, most winners included easy physical and visual connections with their outdoor spaces.

Mid-century modern and modern farmhouse. These styles are both incredibly popular across the country, both in new homes and renovations that bring out the home’s original character.

Mixed metals. Silver, brass, gold and more, there’s no telling where you’ll find metals and how they’ll be paired in today’s new homes.

Multigenerational living. Homes are increasingly featuring designated multigenerational suites or transition spaces that can be quickly transformed into additional bedrooms, providing for the increasing number of multigenerational households in some parts of the country.

Quiet but purposeful architecture. Forms and ratios are following best practices in a muted but memorable manner.

Stairs as a focal piece. Stairs are taking on a life of their own and featuring fine detailing, unique materials and one-of-a-kind design.

Texture on texture. Goodbye, smooth walls. Interiors are featuring curated texture palettes, from stone to raw wood details to manmade textured wallpaper offerings.

The awards were sponsored by GE Appliances, a Haier Company; Monogram; Hotpoint; Profile; and Café. The media sponsor was Professional Builder.

More information about this year’s winners and trends can be found at the new bestinamericanliving.com.

NAHB Names The Nationals Gold Award Winners

Annual Honors Recognize Excellence in New Home Sales, Marketing and Design

The year's most outstanding work in residential real estate sales, marketing and design was honored by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) at the National Sales and Marketing Awards gala (known as "The NationalsSM"), one of the building industry's most prestigious events. Hosted by the NAHB National Sales and Marketing Council, the event took place yesterday during the NAHB International Builders' Show in Las Vegas.

"The Nationals are the most prestigious awards of their kind, setting the benchmark for innovation in new home design, marketing and sales," said Kelly Kenton Fink, MIRM, chairperson of The Nationals. "NAHB's commitment to recognizing originality, imagination and success has been exemplified by its award winners since the competition's inception."

A diverse panel of industry professionals from across the country selected Gold award winners from more than 1,300 entries. Several top award winners are highlighted below.

COMMUNITY OF THE YEAR GOLD AWARDS

Multifamily Community of the Year (tie)
50 Scollard
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
By: Lanterra Developments
Marketing Director: Erin Millar
Design: Montana Steele Strategic Marketing

Promontory at Civita
San Diego, Calif.
By: The New Home Company
Marketing Director: Megan Eltringham
Ad Agency: Paolucci Salling & Martin
Architect: Woodley Achitectural Group
Sales Office: Canvas Interiors
Interiors: Studio Mosaic Interior Design
Landscape: C2 Collaborative

Detached Community of the Year
Vivant
Parker, CO
Builder: Joyce Homes
Developer: Craft Companies
Interiors, Creative Director: TRIO
Architect: KGA Studio Architects

Master Planned Community of the Year
Esencia at Rancho MIssion Viejo
Rancho Mission Viejo, Orange County, Calif.
By: Rancho Mission Viejo
Marketing Director: Nadine Corrigan
Advertising: Greenhaus / Zenzi Communications
Landscape: Land Concern, SWA,
Architect: Robert Hidey Architects
Interiors: Design Lines

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT HONORS

Rookie Sales Person of The Year
Jared Bonasera
Sudhoff Companies
Houston, Texas

Sales Person of The Year
Melissa Reese
Ultimate New Home Sales & Marketing Inc.
Long Beach, Calif.

Marketing Director of the Year
Samantha Sax
Elad Group
New York, N.Y.

Sales Manager of the Year
Brooks Sears
Van Metre Homes
Broadlands, Va.

Online Sales Counselor of the Year
Astrid De Lima
EYA Marketing
Washington, D.C. metro area

For a complete list of Gold and Silver winners, along with additional details and history of The Nationals, please visit www.thenationals.com.

The exclusive co-sponsor of The Nationals is Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

For more information, e-mail Lisa Parrish, lparrish@thenationals.com, or call her at 800-658-2751 or 909-987-2758.

Multifamily Housing Production to Start Leveling Off

While multifamily housing starts in 2018 came very close to the sector’s 2015 peak, production levels are expected to moderate somewhat in 2019 and will stabilize in a range that that is considered normal, according to data announced today by National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) at a press conference held during the NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

“Multifamily starts will begin to level off through 2019, edging 2 percent lower this year at about 379,000 units, approaching the level that was the pre-recession norm,” said Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington, AVP, Forecasting and Analysis for NAHB. “The great majority of 2018’s units were in buildings with 50 or more apartments.”

While the multifamily recovery led housing out of the recession, the single-family market has not rebounded as strongly. In addition, the rising cost of land and building materials in 2018 and the contraction in the labor force for skilled subcontractors and other construction labor has pushed the cost of a new single-family homes beyond the reach of many young families, many of whom continue to rent.

However, there is growth in single-family rentals—representing 3.67 percent of the single-family market in 2015, rising to 4.25 percent by 2017. This growth will take a bite out of both the single-family for-sale sector and the multifamily sector, as young families burdened with student debt, finding it difficult to save for a down payment, opt to rent a single-family home.

Arizona Builder Named NAHB Custom Home Builder of the Year; Finalists from North Carolina and Rhode Island Recognized

Rod Cullum, founder and CEO of Cullum Homes in Scottsdale, Ariz., has been honored as the Custom Home Builder of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Custom Home Builders Committee. Sponsored by Sherwin-Williams™, the award was presented at a ceremony last night in Las Vegas during the NAHB International Builders’ Show.

With more than 30 years in the business, Cullum relies on handpicked professionals to take projects from the early stages of site selection and architectural design through construction and beyond. Cullum Homes builds 10 to 15 multi-million-dollar homes a year and completes six to eight remodels.

The firm offers ongoing services to maintain a home after move-in and, in many cases, renovates the home years down the road as the owners’ needs change. Focusing on post-move-in client care and service has led the company to expand short-term warranty service into a long-term profit producer and keeps the company on the minds of clients for years after the home is built, often resulting in referrals that bring in new clients.

Cullum Homes shepherds clients through every part of their project, with in-house architecture and interior design teams, high-tech virtual reality software that allows clients to take a virtual walk through of the design as it evolves. Clients and the building team have open online access to project documents and communications.

“Rod gives complete service for clients, providing top-level work at each stage of design, construction, and, if desired, ongoing maintenance and remodeling,” said Doreen “Dodie” Adams, Financial Officer at Integrity Builders Inc., and chair of the NAHB Custom Home Builders Committee. “Fine craftsmanship, up-to-date tools, a first-rate team and great client service mark him as a leader in his field.”

Finalists:

David Foard, vice president and owner of Arcadia Homes Inc., in Charlotte, N.C., believes his company brings the benefits of a large company with a small company feel to customers, using a relatively large staff strategically to match ability with the requirements of a project, then emphasizing face-to-face time with clients to foster collaboration and good communication. Arcadia Homes builds 10-18 unique client homes each year ranging from $1.5 to $15 million in North Carolina and South Carolina.

In addition to quality craftsmanship, careful project management and strong relationships with clients and team members, Foard takes pride in being a good steward of the land around his projects and a leader in green building, partnering with building trades partners to recycle tons of construction materials and building a custom home to the highest level of U.S. Green Building Council LEED standards.

Jeffrey Sweenor, president and CEO of Sweenor Builders Inc., in Wakefield, R.I., builds an average of five custom structures in coastal Rhode Island each year, many of which are family compounds with an expansive main home and auxiliary buildings.

Sweenor provides in-house design-build services as well as collaboration with premier architects to create projects that satisfy clients and also earn the respect of design professionals, other project partners and industry leaders who then become the wellspring for the next projects. Sweener credits a company culture where everyone on the project holds themselves accountable for the quality of their work and take pride in their craft.

“These professionals build quality homes, focus on client satisfaction, use the latest technology, stay up-to-date with materials and systems and maintain great teams,” said Adams. “They are leaders in their communities and mentors for their local home building associations. Congratulations to David and Jeffrey.”

NAHB Outlines Top Features Home Buyers Want for 2019

Laundry rooms and energy-saving features such as Energy Star appliances, windows and whole house certification are among the most wanted home features, according to survey results from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released today during a press conference at the NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. NAHB surveyed nearly 4,000 home buyers—those who have either recently purchased a home or plan to purchase a home within the next three years—ranking 175 features based on how essential they are to a home purchasing decision.

The top 10 features also included home-storage needs, such as garage storage and walk-in pantries, as well as hardwood flooring, a patio and exterior lighting.

Housing trends across the board include a continued decline in the average home size and decreased demand for upscale features such as three-plus-car garages. In 2018, according to information from the U.S. Census Bureau, the average home started declined to 2,576 square feet—down from its peak at 2,689 square feet in 2015—driven in part by increased production in townhouses, which comprised 14 percent of new home starts.

“Builders are trying to meet demand where it’s hottest, and that is at the lower price points,” Rose Quint, AVP of survey research at NAHB, noted regarding the increase in townhouse production. “To that end, they are building more townhomes and smaller detached homes. Townhomes take up less land, and that automatically brings the price down.”

Recent trends show new homes have been downsizing since 2016; fewer have four or more bedrooms, or three or more bathrooms. These data “show that builders are trying to respond to the crisis around housing affordability,” Quint added.

NAHB’s survey also includes key information on types and location of homes desired by buyers, including generational differences. Suburbs are the most desirable home location (64 percent), followed by a rural setting (24 percent) and the central city (11 percent). Millennials are the most likely to want to buy a home in a central city (23 percent), compared to Gen X buyers (11 percent), baby boomers (8 percent) or seniors (3 percent).

Kitchen and Bath Trends to Watch

According to NAHB’s survey, 86 percent of home buyers prefer their kitchen and dining room to be completely or partially open. Top finishes include stainless steel appliances (67 percent), granite or natural stone kitchen countertops (57 percent), and white kitchen cabinetry (32 percent).

Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz, shared similar findings from its consumer research for kitchens and master bathrooms.

“White upon white is the new style that is emerging,” she stated—both for the kitchen and bathroom—in terms of cabinets and countertops, as well as gray on white.

Other rising trends include: farmhouse styles incorporating ample amounts of wood; engineered quartz countertops for color flexibility; vinyl and resilient flooring, especially for aging in place; wireless controls, and open interior and exterior spaces in the kitchen; and higher-end fixture installations in the bathroom, such as wall-mounted sinks, faucets and toilets.

Additional details on the NAHB data are featured in the full 300-page report, What Home Buyers Really Want (2019 edition).

Aging-in-Place Specialists Honored with National NAHB Remodelers Awards

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelers announced the winners of its annual Homes for Life awards, recognizing excellence in aging-in-place and universal design remodeling projects. The awards were presented last night at the NAHB Remodelers All-Stars Celebration during the NAHB International Builders Show in Las Vegas.

The Homes for Life awards were expanded into multiple categories in 2018, resulting in four winners across five categories. Dave Myllymaki of Vancouver, Wash., won the Multi-Generational Remodel category; Bonnie Lewis, CAPS, Allied ASID, Associate IIDA of Scottsdale, Ariz., won both the Bath Remodel and Whole-House/Multi-Room Remodel categories; Jeni Finnigan, CAPS, of Unbounded Space and Amie Faust of Half Dozen Designs in Denver won the Kitchen Remodel category; and Iris Chadab, CAPS, NKBA, of Windows to the Walls Interiors LLC in Alexandria, Va., won for the Best Overall Certified Aging-in-Place (CAPS) design.

“These remodelers specializing in aging-in-place help home owners’ dreams come true by implementing custom solutions to last a lifetime,” said 2018 NAHB Remodelers Chair Joanne Theunissen of Mt. Pleasant, Mich. “The Homes for Life projects exemplify innovative home design that prioritizes safety and style for any age or ability.”

Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists are remodelers, general contractors, designers, architects, health care professionals and others who have been taught the strategies and techniques for designing and building aesthetically pleasing, barrier-free living environments to help home owners live in their homes safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age or ability level. To learn more and to find a CAPS professional in your community, visit nahb.org/hireacaps.

For more information about remodeling, visit nahb.org/remodel.

NAHB Announces Builder of the Year and Community of the Year in Best of 55+ Housing Awards

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) named Minto Communities USA in Tampa, Fla., the Builder of the Year, and that firm’s Latitude Margaritaville in Daytona Beach, Fla., the Community of the Year, as part of the 2018 Best of 55+ Housing Awards. The annual awards program, held during the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, honors excellence and innovation in the design, development, lifestyle and marketing of housing that appeals to the mature market.

Minto Communities has identified some major trends in the lifestyle goals of 55+ homeowners and developed successful communities and quality homes that reflect those trends. In partnership with global brand Margaritaville Holdings, Minto Communities is developing 55+ master-planned communities inspired by the lifestyle of fun, food and music depicted in the songs of famed singer, songwriter and best-selling author Jimmy Buffett.

Latitude Margaritaville has found its fans among 55+ homebuyers. More than 2,600 attended the model homes grand opening in February 2018. Within the first nine months, 400 homes were sold, and phase one in Latitude Margaritaville Daytona Beach is nearly sold out. Minto Communities has two other Latitude Margaritaville communities in the works: one in Hilton Head, S.C., and one on Florida’s panhandle.

Latitude Margaritaville delivers an authentic “no worries” tropical vibe to health conscious, active 55+ homebuyers with resort-style amenities, walkable neighborhoods and golf cart friendly streets and colorful island-inspired homes. Latitude Town Square has a band shell for concerts and dancing.

The easy-care single-family homes and villas feature open, airy spaces that maximize natural light and flow into uniquely designed outdoor living spaces perfect for enjoying the Daytona Beach climate. These homes are ideally designed for relaxing, entertaining and comfortably accommodating houseguests.

“Minto Communities demonstrates innovative design, marketing and positioning with Latitude Margaritaville,” said Steve Moore, chair of the Best of 55+ Housing Awards Subcommittee. “Out of the gate, the solid sales success is clearly a result of this end-to-end approach to lively, vibrant 55+ living.”

The Best of 55+ Housing Awards program is sponsored by PrivateCommunities.com, Irwin Partners Architects, BSB Design, Builders Design, Generac, KTGY Architecture + Planning, Mary Dewalt Design Group and RMF.

View the complete list of this year’s winners at https://www.nahb.org/en/find/award-programs/best-of-55-plus-housing-awards.aspx. Images of winners and finalists are available upon request.

 

NAHB Recognizes the Best in Green and Sustainable Building

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) today announced the winners of its Best in Green (BIG) Awards at a ceremony during the NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

In its fifth year, the BIG Awards received outstanding nominations and brought recognition to the best of the best green certified projects in a variety of categories. Categories included single-family homes, multifamily projects, communities and remodeling.  Winners were chosen based on their innovative use of green features, aesthetics, functionality, amenities and high performance certifications.

In addition to the top green projects, the BIG Awards also honored two Home Builders Associations who have long been advocates and leaders in the green and sustainable space.

“The Best in Green Awards are the industry’s most prominent awards recognizing projects and individuals that are leading the way in high performance and sustainability,” said Ray Tonjes, NAHB’s 2018 Sustainability & Green Building Subcommittee Chairman from Austin, Texas. “This year’s award winners are a particularly impressive group, representing the best of the best across several sectors of the building industry.”

This year’s winners include:

  • Best in Green 55+ Community: Mirabella, Bradenton, Florida, submitted by Koral & Gobuty Development, LLC
  • Best in Green Community: Mahncke Park, San Antonio, Texas, submitted by Imagine Homes
  • Best in Green Community: Caliza Courts Rowhouses, Alys Beach, Florida, submitted by Green$mart Companies
  • Best in Green Multifamily Affordable Project: Elements Collection, Denver, Colorado submitted by Thrive Home Builders
  • Best in Green Multifamily Market Rate Project: Ten at Clarendon, Arlington, Virginia, submitted by CBG Building Company
  • Best in Green Single-Family Custom Home: Historic Infill Home, Decatur, Georgia, submitted by SK Collaborative
  • Best in Green Single-Family Production Home: Panacea Collection, Denver, Colorado, submitted by Thrive Home Builders
  • Best in Green Remodeling Project: Norcross Remodel, Dallas, Texas, submitted by Ferrier Builders Inc.
  • Best in Green NGBS Project of the Year, Historic Infill Home, Decatur, Georgia, submitted by SK Collaborative
  • Best in Green HBA of the Year (two winners), Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association and Home Builders Association of Metro Portland

“In addition to the best in green building and remodeling projects, we were pleased to be able to recognize the great work our members are doing in their local communities to support sustainable living,” noted Tonjes. “Both the Santa Fe Area HBA and the HBA or Metro Portland had such active and impactful voices in their local green building markets in very different ways, that the judges thought two awards should be given this year to celebrate the achievements within the Federation.”

To see the finalists and other additional information about the Best in Green awards visit nahb.org/bigawards.

Lower Interest Rates, Rising Consumer Confidence Boost Builder Sentiment

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose four points to 62 in February, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today in Las Vegas during the 75th  annual International Builders’ Show.

“Ongoing reduction in mortgage rates in recent weeks coupled with continued strength in the job market are helping to fuel builder sentiment,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel, a custom home builder from LaPlace, La. “In the aftermath of the fall slowdown, many builders are reporting positive expectations for the spring selling season.”

February marked the second consecutive month in which all the HMI indices posted gains. The index measuring current sales conditions rose three points to 67, the component gauging expectations in the next six months increased five points to 68 and the metric charting buyer traffic moved up four points to 48.

“Builder confidence levels moved up in tandem with growing consumer confidence and falling interest rates,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “The five-point jump on the six-month sales expectation for the HMI is due to mortgage interest rates dropping from about 5 percent in November to 4.4 percent this week. However, affordability remains a critical issue. Rising costs stemming from excessive regulations, a dearth of buildable lots, a persistent labor shortage and tariffs on lumber and other key building materials continue to make it increasingly difficult to produce housing at affordable price points.”

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 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.

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the South posted a one-point gain to 63 while the Northeast dropped two points to 43.  The Midwest and West each remained unchanged at 52 and 67, respectively.

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 housingeconomics.com.