February 2020 Building Buzz

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BISMARCK-MANDAN HOME BUILDERS ASSOCIATION FEBRUARY 2020 || WWW.BMHBA.COM


BUILDING Building Buzz is a publication of the Bismarck-Mandan Home Builders Association.

Bismarck-Mandan Home Builders Association 2600 Gateway Ave, Ste 1 Bismarck, ND 58503 Phone: 701.222.2400 Fax: 701.250.9730

www.facebook.com/bmhba PROFESSIONALS BUILDING OUR COMMUNITY THROUGH PROMOTION OF

SINCE 1958.

PRESIDENT Northern Plains Plumbing, Heating & Air 701-222-2155 greg@northernplains.net

Sattler Homes 701-255-7628 jeff@bismarckbuilder.com VICE PRESIDENT

www.twitter.com/bmhba

www.houzz.com/pro/bmhba

Townsquare Media 701-250-6602 bill.schmid@townsquaremedia.com

Aspire Homes 701-426-8583 greg@daretoaspire.com

Stoneshire Builders 701-471-6935 brian@stoneshirebuilders.com

2ND VICE PRESIDENT Triton Homes 701-223-3030 jamie.schmidt@investcore.com

Hallmark Homes 701-471-8796 hallmarkhomes@outlook.com

TREASURER Boulder Homes 701-400-5554 boulderhomesnd@gmail.com

Dakota OutdoorScapes 701-214-1255 mckenzie@ndscapes.com

Great Plains Rehab 701-400-0676 rtank@primecare.org

Joe Vetter Construction 701-258-9394 joevetterjvc@gmail.com

Apex Builders 701-527-7899 amy@apexbuildersnd.com

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Dot Frank Simone Marchus Elysha Head


Representing the diversity of the building industry, the BMHBA consists of building specialists from every section of the construction field and associated industries. Your membership strengthens our voice in Bismarck-Mandan construction sector as well as at a state and national level. Please renew your membership by February 29, 2020. TJ Tooz

Josh Schaffner

Christopher Allrich

Whitney Wilkens

Shawn Ressler

Blair Ihmels

Marty Hoskin

Joel Malingen

Robert Lillis

Tim Rusch

Allan Miller

DeAnn Kuntz

Brandon Leingang

Randy Horner

Dan Johnson

Kirsten Peterson

DeAnna Gratz

Hunt Boustead

Jason Sellers

Fred Berger

Kendall Bauer

Delton Stein

Lesley Entzel

Wally Mertz

Jerry Caufield

Helen Strand

Cody Wilhelm

France Splonskowski

Terry Pearson

Collin Walth

Paul Quist

Dennis Lawson

Larry Goetzfridt

Mike Murray

Kassy Landis

Brad Bonnet

Bob Schuh

Berna Vetter

Cassie Bowers

Tobias Marman

Rebecca Paulsen

Mike Karpiak

Mike Wolff

Leanne Holzer

Fred Urlacher

Randy Kuntz

Shanna Johnson Chris Schapp


2020 It was great to see everybody at the Annual banquet! We sold all 20 $20 wine bottles from the wine tree, and pass the hat raised an additional $277 all in support of our scholarship fund. Our Events Committee, under the direction of Natalie Eckes, did a great job hosting all of us at the Harvest Event Center. At the event, several association bylaws changes got approved by attending members; changes include references to the fiscal calendar, an option to put prematurely vacated seats on the ballot and the added requirement of board members to serve on a committee. The Home Show is fast approaching and spaces are filling fast, currently we have fewer than 17% of floor space left. Contact the office or visit www.BismanHomeShow.com to register your booth in the upcoming Home Show. The Home Show is a great way to get in front of many potential home buyers and start selling new builds for the spring. We just finished our new board orientation and business planning session. The January board meeting was graciously hosted by American Bank Center. Thank you for the hospitality and allowing us a take over your meeting room. At first meeting of the 2020 board focused on continued advocacy, especially during this election year, membership growth and member engagement.

Regards,

2020 PRESIDENT :: BMHBA

BUILD-PAC is our voice throughout the entire association and the best way to help influence change whether it be local, state or national. I sent in my annual donation and would love to see increased participation from our association. Without PAC we lose our voice in politics. Vance Vetter and I are your BUILD-PAC Trustees. BUILD-PAC is the political arm of NAHB. It helps elect pro-housing and probusiness candidates to federal office. We also have an NDABPAC that helps elect pro-housing candidates in the state as well as raising funds for our local races. Feel free to ask Vance or me any questions about PAC. Thank you to all our PAC contributors; without your personal investment in PAC we would not be able to support our local candidates. With an election cycle this year, it is always nice to know that we can count on you for continued support. Every member should have received an events survey. Please take the time to complete it. The results will help guide our events committee in decisions on future events. We want to know what your thoughts are so we can facilitate change, add, or remove events from our schedule. You can access the survey at surveymonkey.com/r/BMHBAEvents.


MONTH

YEAR 2015 2016 2017

2018

2019

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

2015 2016 2017

2018

2019

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

0

9

1

0

10

0

0

0

1

0

0

2

0

0

2

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

2

FEBRUARY

3

4

5

2

0

0

0

0

1

2

6

5

0

0

0

0

3

0

1

1

0

0

0

MARCH

21

22

14

2

9

2

2

1

11

6

4

8

2

0

3

0

0

0

9

9

4

2

4

APRIL

52

29

40

27

26

4

3

6

14

12

8

16

11

18

2

4

0

6

14

5

11

11

14

MAY

31

46

29

16

28

JUNE

31

43

48

24

18

JULY

40

16

60

22

17

AUGUST

20

48

16

27

19

SEPTEMBER

28

44

26

22

23

OCTOBER

54

14

22

15

36

NOVEMBER

16

11

9

11

14

1

0

0

DECEMBER

Data not collected for the ETA in 2015 and 2016.

JANUARY

.

5

6

4

26

13

11

15

11

17

2

5

5

0

14

16

7

20

10

10

2

2

21

20

13

13

4

1

6

3

1

1

8

11

4

4

6

3

3

2

9

13

6

11

12

0

5

1

5

1

13

9

4

3

11

6

1

7

17

7

13

20

10

8

2

9

4

5

8

9

6

8

5

8

3

10

16

14

26

11

10

3

3

4

5

2

9

9

9

6

5

4

7

3

9

29

20

9

9

17

10

7

5

3

4

7

3

7

1

3

0

1

7

7

7

6

2

2

5

0

0

0

3

4

1

0

2

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

4

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

TOTAL

297 286 270

169

201

45

27

36

132

123

114

116

71

67

40

37

28

20

83

80

51

61

60

YTD TOTAL

297 286 270

169

201

45

27

36

132

123

114

116

71

67

83

80

0

0

YTD Total

-4% -6%

-37%

19%

-40% 33%

-7% -7%

2%

-39%

Total

-4% -6%

-37%

19%

-40% 33%

-7% -7%

2%

-39%

40 37 28 20 40% -8% -24% -29% 40% -8% -24% -29%

BISMARCK SINGLE FAMILY DWELLING APEX BUILDERS

BMHBA members are eligible to participate in the Member Rebate Program. Participation is simple and requires quarterly submissions online for common products use in home construction. The following builders received funds in 2019 – Apex Builders, Aspire Homes, Hallmark Homes, Hopfauf Custom Builders, Kutzer Construction, Sattler Homes and Epic Homes. The total money sent to those builders last year was $2,029. The member with the highest cumulative rebate over their

5507 GOLD DR

years of participation is Verity, claiming $19,838.50. The Member Rebate Program is one of many membership benefits. Staff at the BMHBA would be happy to walk you through other money saving programs exclusive to members. Simply contact the office at 2222400 or info@bmhba.com.

51 61 -4% 36% 20% -4% 36% 20%

60 -2% -2%


BMHBA staff broke out of the office and headed to Las Vegas to visit the largest annual light construction show in the world. The International Builders Show (IBS) was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center and hosted more than 600,000 net square feet of exhibit space. More than 1,400 vendors from all over the world exhibit at IBS each year. Besides viewing the newest and most innovative products around the globe, IBS also offers networking experiences throughout the week. Members of the BMHBA receive an exclusive discount on IBS tickets. To learn more about IBS and plan for next year’s show, visit buildersshow.com.

The BMHBA Annual Dinner is a night of celebration, reflection and giving. On Jan. 17, members of the BMHBA came together to induct the new board members, congratulate the BSC students who received the three scholarships issued annually, and reflect on the year prior. Hosted the Brazilian Harvest Event Center, the Annual Dinner included fine dining and a presentation. A bowl was passed around throughout the evening, and attendees were encouraged to give generously toward future scholarships. The BMHBA also hosted a wine tree, allowing participants to purchase a mystery bottle of wine for $20. Funds from the wine tree also contributed to future scholarships. In total, the Wine Tree and Pass the Bowl collected $530.06. Thank you to all of those who attended, and especially those who sponsored the evening: BNC National Bank, Plains Commerce Bank, Front Street Millwork & Lumber, Knutson Homes, Townsquare Media, Starion Bank, Fleck’s Furniture & Appliance, Kirkwood Bank & Trust and RJR Maintenance and Management.

Pictured: Dot and Simone at the Meeting of the Members, hosted by NAHB.

Spring may seem far away but at the BMHBA, we’re already planning the Spring Parade of Homes! From April 23-26, builders are encouraged to showcase any new home builds they would like to present to the community. The Spring POH is a fantastic time to get foot traffic to your home. For attendees, it’s a great time to welcome warmer weather and check out some beautiful, recently finished homes in your community. For more information, please visit BisManParade.com.

The Events Committee is presenting an events survey to the BMHBA members. In 2020, the Events Committee wants to give members precisely what they want regarding events. Afterall, the attendee’s opinion is the only one that matters. Included in this newsletter you will find a survey totaling 20 questions. The events committee encourages you to complete the survey and return it to the BMHBA. It can also be accessed at www.SurveyMonkey.com/r/ BMHBAEvents. The survey is confidential and asks about your satisfaction of BMHBA events. Your opinion will help shape events in the future.


Forty-six percent of non-residents now have a positive image of the city and only 9% have a negative image. The evolution has been steady over the years. Compare these ratings to 2017 and 2014 when responses were 43% and 37% positive and 16% and 24% negative, respectfully. Resident ratings were 61% positive and 9% negative, similar to 2017.

economic opportunity. Views of Mandan’s business sector and progressiveness also are trending upward.

Asked about ways to improve Mandan, residents ranked street repair and maintenance as number one, up from third in a 2017 survey. Many requested projects are already approved for funding and slated to The majority of respondents happen in the next couple years. Next continue to identify Mandan’s strengths in line for ways to improve Mandan as quality of life, growth, sense of were lower property taxes, more retail community, its parks and recreation shopping, and more business and system, and events and activities. Being industry. a safe community with low crime and Wishes in the area of business quality schools remain as residents development put more restaurants at most important reasons for living in the top despite a gain of eight in Mandan. Mandan since the last survey. Residents Perceptions for Mandan attributes respondents indicated only 39% of their addressed in a joint community dining out typically occurs in Mandan, a marketing program are showing statistic that may improve with more improvement. These include Mandan awareness about choices and the as a place to visit, for fun, and importance of shopping local. Other

With high precipitation levels this past fall, there’s concern of flooding with the upcoming spring runoff. City of Mandan officials are preparing for the worst but hoping for the best. They remind residents that flood insurance is only good if purchased prior to any flood event. Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States, and can be caused by storms, snowmelt, ice jams and much more. No matter where you live, some risk of flooding exists. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood smart website, just one inch of water can cause $25,000 of damage to a home. When to purchase. The best time to purchase flood insurance is now, ahead

of any potential flood event. Without flood insurance, homeowners or renters face paying out of pocket for expenses for repairs and replacements due to flood damage. It typically takes 30 days from the date of purchase for a flood insurance policy to go into effect. There may not be a wait period for flood insurance if closing on a purchase or refinancing a home. When choosing a policy, ask your insurance agent when coverage will start. How to purchase. Contact the insurance agent helping you with your homeowners or renters’ insurance to inquire about purchasing flood insurance. For more questions to ask your insurance agent, visit floodsmart.gov/how/what-to-knowbefore-buying-a-flood-insurance-policy.

suggestions for efforts to attract and foster businesses were in the realm of indoor entertainment and recreation followed by general retail, grocery, home improvement and hardware, and clothing and shoes. The Mandan Tomorrow — Leadership, Pride and Image Committee conducted the survey with assistance from the City of Mandan Business Development and Communications Department. The purpose was to assess views of the city. They will use results to strengthen community communication and outreach and share findings with various city leaders striving to make Mandan a better place for businesses, residents and visitors. There were 792 respondents to the survey, 81% from Mandan and 19% from Bismarck and elsewhere. The survey summary is available online at cityofmandan.com.

What to cover. When purchasing a flood insurance policy, it is important to look for cleanup and sewer backup coverage as well as coverage for both the building structure and its contents. More important information to know: • Homeowners and renters’ insurance do not typically cover flood damage.

• More than 20% of flood claims come •

from properties outside high-risk flood zones. Flood insurance can pay regardless of whether or not there is a Presidential Disaster Declaration.

Find out what flood zone you are in and assess the risk in your neighborhood at floodsmart.gov. Check out Mandan’s flood map at the FEMA Flood Map Service Center.


The Bismarck School Board approved the use of portables as a short-term solution to address Bismarck Public School’s continued student enrollment growth. Bismarck Public Schools (BPS) could purchase as many as six additional portable classrooms for next fall as a short-term solution to space issues, primarily at the elementary level. BPS is working on a timeline that will seek community input regarding long term space options. These meetings will take place over the next several months. The Board approved administration purchasing a Cessna 150 airplane for the Aviation Program at the Career Academy. There are about 70 students in the program; using a rental plane costs families $10,850 per year and the district $6,650 per year. Buying a plane would save students and the district about half those amounts: $5,350 per family and $3,000 for BPS. Owning a plan also gives BPS students hands-on training with oil, tire and fluid changes, lighting repairs, aircraft management, fueling, etc. The monitoring report on OE 8 Communicating with the Board was approved as in compliance. Stacey Lang also was introduced to the Board as the new BPS Foundation Development Director.

The City of Mandan has issued a Business & Community Development Community Report for 2019 highlighting projects completed and approved in the past year. The report shares steps being taken to bring more vibrancy to downtown Mandan, stories about existing business expansions throughout the community, information about businesses and property improvements assisted with incentive programs, plus statistics related to Mandan’s economic well-being. Mandan property owners will receive the report with their monthly water bill in February in lieu of the Mandan Messenger newsletter. Copies are available at Mandan City Hall and may be downloaded from cityofmandan.com/businessdevelopment.

The North Dakota Housing Finance Agency is hosting a series of Housing Forums to provide educational and networking opportunities for housing professionals in 2020. The first event, a Homeownership Forum, is targeted to lenders, real estate agents and related professions. The same event will be hosted in two locations, on Feb. 25 at the Doubletree by Hilton in West Fargo and on Feb. 26 at the Radisson Hotel in Bismarck. The featured speaker is Ruth Dillingham, a residential real estate sales and mortgage lending expert. The agency will host a Multifamily Forum in Bismarck on April 16 that will be targeted to property managers, multifamily developers and service providers. That event will be preceded by a full day of Uniform Physical Conditions Standards training. Register for the February Homeownership Forums is open now. Participants who register by Feb. 12, 2020, will receive the lowest rate, $40 (includes Champions of Affordable Housing Awards Luncheon). After Feb. 12, 2020, the registration fee will increase to $60. Registration closes on Feb. 17, 2020. For registration and additional details visit www.ndhfa.org.

Each year, Bismarck City staff analyzes the potential development capacity within the city limits, as well as within the existing Priority and Future areas. This available capacity is compared to overall growth projections for the City to help determine how much additional serviceable land may be necessary to meet expected demand for new development. The results of the analysis inform staff’s recommendation for boundary adjustments. Within the city limits, there is capacity for an additional 7,899 residents and 17,432 jobs. An additional 5,755 residents and 7,930 jobs may be accommodated in the Priority areas. At projected population and employment growth rates, this development capacity would be exhausted in 15 years for population and 23 years for jobs.


Morton County Commissioner and current chair, Cody Schulz will not seek a third term on the Commission.

several strategic investments in technology and communications – from airing and streaming our meetings to making services available on a new website – that make “Serving the great people of Morton County over the past our customer experience easier and more efficient. I really seven-plus years has truly been one of the great honors of think we accomplished a lot, my professional life,” said Schulz. “I’m so grateful the citizens and we did it while lowering of Morton County trusted me and afforded me the property tax rates from 131 opportunity to serve and lead, and I’m thankful for my mills in 2012 to 75 mills in fellow commissioners, the entire team at Morton County, 2019.” and of course the support I have received from friends and family.” Lowering taxes, enhancing the road system, and serving Schulz listed a number of accomplishments and areas of as a resource and sounding pride from his time on the Commission, including board for candidates were developing a positive culture for staff, navigating and goals stated by Schulz for the leading through the historic Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) final year of his term. protest, enhancing the business climate, building a modern and safe detention center in partnership with Burleigh “We are in a great place as County, building a world class park system, and significantly a county, but there is more lowering property taxes. work to do and I will focus on that over the next year, and I intend to stay active and “I am proud to have been a part of the many involved in enhancing our great county and state,” said accomplishments within Morton County,” said Schulz. “First Schulz. and foremost, over the last seven years I have seen our staff go from a group of good employees to a true team of Schulz is North Dakota’s Director of Homeland Security, Chairman of the District 34 Republican Party, and serves on dedicated servant leaders. Thanks to incredible teamwork the North Dakota Republican Party State Committee as well and support from across the state, we were able to bring as several other boards and commissions. the often violent DAPL protest to an end. We also made

The proposed changes to the Plan are relatively minor. No change is proposed to the outside boundary of the USAB. Three new areas are proposed to be added to the Future area: • Areas of Promontory Point VI Addition and Promontory Point VII Addition that are not annexed are proposed to shift to the Future STAFF REPORT City of Bismarck Community Development Department Planning Division December 18, 2019 Community Development Department Staff Report December 18, 2019 areas. These areas cannot be developed until further sanitary sewer facilities are installed by the developer. • Areas of Silver Ranch First Addition and Silver Ranch First Addition First Replat that are not annexed are proposed to shift to the Future areas. These areas cannot be developed until further sanitary sewer facilities are installed by the developer. • Unplatted land in SE¼ of Section 19, T139NR79W/Gibbs Township is proposed to shift to Future areas. Additionally, five annexations occurred in 2019 for approximately 259 acres, most of which was taken from the Priority areas. Based on the proposed changes to the plan and prior annexations, the new proposed Priority areas are approximately 26% smaller than the areas in the currently approved plan. The proposed Priority areas have an estimated capacity of 14 years of population growth and 22 years of job growth, assuming city limits are filled first


MILLENNIALS TO DOMINATE HOUSING MARKET IN 2020

Markets in the South and West will experience the highest housing activity in 2020, as more millennials move out of big cities in search of more affordable markets, according to experts who shared some of the latest industry trends during last week’s International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

“Boomers [say] they are not selling because ‘we don’t need to.’ Only 17% of boomers are dissatisfied with their current home,” said Wolf. Other factors that are keeping boomers at home are that 23% have no retirement savings and 30% of those in the 62-66 age range have postponed retirement.

“Millennials will dominate housing in 2020 and account for 50% of mortgage originations,” said George Ratiu, a senior economist at As for millennials, they are also facing affordability and supply realtor.com. He added that they will be leaving expensive metros constraints. “Affordability is the biggest obstacle to buying a for more affordable markets. home,” said Wolf. “Only 5% of millennials want to rent. They are the “Millennials will be moving to mid-sized cities like Boise, Idaho; largest buyer demographic but faced with a supply shortage.” Tucson; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Columbia, South Carolina. Looking at public and private builders, Carl Reichardt, managing These cities offer good weather, suburban downtowns and lifestyle director at BTIG headquartered in San Francisco, said that 8-out-10 amenities.” private builders expect sales will rise in 2020. Looking at this key demographic more closely, Ratiu said: “Labor and land costs are their biggest worry,” he said. “Builders still appear cautious on pricing. Very few are raising • 1-in-4 millennials have been looking for a home for prices aggressively.” more than a year.

• • •

16% are searching for homes in urban areas. 34% are looking for homes in the suburbs. 45% are seeking homes in small towns and rural areas.

Summing up his findings, Ratiu said that in 2020:

• • • •

Millennials will demand an affordable product. Mortgage rates will remain attractive. Lesser markets will shine. Baby boomers are not moving.

Ali Wolf, director of economic research for Meyers Research based in Costa Mesa, California, also noted that boomers are staying put.

Meanwhile, Reichardt said that public builders account for 36% of all new homes in the U.S. market. (NAHB data show the top 20 builders accounted for 29% of all single-family starts in 2018.) Among the top 50 markets in the country, Reichardt said a public builder is No. 1 in terms of volume in 36 of these markets. Reichardt said that public builders are not looking to get into all markets but instead are focusing on local market share in the metros they are currently engaged in. NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz, who moderated the session, said that while the industry continues to face significant labor issues on the supply side, 2020 might be the year that labor shortages stop getting worse. For more on the economic impacts of housing, visit nahb.org.


Elections matter. That’s why it is so important for NDAB members to be engaged in the political process. Contributing to NDAB-PAC or BUILD-PAC is one of the best ways to be engaged and shape political outcomes. With the new year, we are reaching out to invite you to join in these efforts, to make a difference and to help be a strong voice for all NDAB members. Are you ready to join our PAC? NDAB-PAC is the North Dakota Association of Builders’ Political Action Committee. It is a non-partisan political action committee which provides support for candidates who are friends of the building industry. BUILD-PAC, NAHB’s bipartisan political arm, helps elect prohousing, pro-business candidates to federal office. NDAB-PAC recognizes there is strength in numbers. People who show they care and are concerned about the future of the building industry make contributions to NDAB-PAC because they believe that cooperation equals strength. Only NDAB members may contribute to NDAB-PAC and only NAHB members may be solicited to contribute to BUILD-PAC. By pooling contributions from NDAB members, NDAB-PAC can help elect legislators and city officials who understand and support the issues and concerns of builders and associate members. You alone can’t influence the Legislature or Congress on issues that can devastate your business. NDAB-PAC is your front line of defense. We monitor legislative issues and work to protect and promote the building industry. The North Dakota delegation in Washington, DC as well as state and local representatives recognize that the members of NDAB are a strong group of advocates. At the state level, our funds help elect officials to the State Legislature where NDAB members have proven that our voices are being heard. With varying giving levels from which you may choose, there are ways for everyone to be involved in NDAB-PAC or BUILD-PAC. Each donation helps to make a big impact at any level. PAC fund contributions made to either BUILD-PAC or NDAB-PAC ultimately benefit North Dakota. NAHB has a national lobbyist assigned to ND and works closely with NDAB on issues affecting the housing industry and asks for the involvement of our members in contacting the Senators and Congressman along with call to actions from our members. Your voice matters! NDAB-PAC is making a name in ND politics and BUILD-PAC is on the most recognized and well-respected PACS in Washington! Are you ready to join our PAC?

Vance Vetter BUILD-PAC Trustee Bismarck Home Builder

Don Dabbert Jr. BUILD-PAC Alternate Trustee Fargo-Moorhead Home Builder

PLACE YOUR AD HERE FOR PREMIUM EXPOSURE. JUST $21 PER ISSUE.

EMAIL INFO@BMHBA.COM.


The 2010s was by far the lowest decade of single-family production in the last 60 years. During this 10-year period, single-family home construction totaled just 6.8 million units. By comparison, single-family starts ranged from 9.3 million units in the 1960s to 12.3 million in the 2000s.

• Roll back exclusionary zoning requirements that result in lower housing density;

The reduced amount of single-family home construction over the last decade is even more striking when considering that the population of the United States has continued to increase over time.

• Allow small lots, small homes and accessory dwelling units;

Why were the 2010s different? While reduced demand in the aftermath of the Great Recession had a large role in holding back home building — particularly in the first half of the decade — the primary causes that contributed to the relative construction weakness over the last 10 years were due to supply-side headwinds and declining housing affordability. Specifically, builders have been dealing with a chronic lack of skilled workers (there were more than 300,000 open positions in the construction sector in October 2019); a shortage of buildable lots; onerous regulations; tariffs on lumber and other key building materials; and slow growth in acquisition, development and construction lending that has failed to keep pace with demand.

• Reduce costly impact fees associated with land development and housing construction;

• Rebuild the industry’s infrastructure — the labor force and the reliable sources of lending and building materials; and • Expedite approvals for affordable projects.

What’s the outlook for the 2020s? There is little doubt that the next generation will experience more single-family construction than the 2010s, as Gen X reaches its peak earning years and millennials increasingly seek out single-family homes for purchase. Policymakers also recognize the magnitude of the affordability problem, as demonstrated by President Trump’s executive order on housing affordability and Democratic contenders talking housing in the presidential debates.

What are the solutions?

Proposals include expanding the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit to improve affordable rental housing access, improving land use and zoning decisions to increase housing supply, and offering workforce development resources to provide jobs and training. Comprehensive housing finance reform, including the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, will also occur during the 2020s, leading many experts to expect slow and steady progress in the decade ahead.

To help builders boost housing production, local governments need to:

NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz provides further analysis his Eye on Housing blog post at eyeonhousing.org.

The lack of supply has driven up home prices and compounded affordability challenges. The problem is most acute in the entry-level market: Demand is strong, but the cost of construction has risen so significantly that it is not economically feasible for most builders to construct housing that an average-income household can afford.


Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes increased five points to 76 in December, the highest reading since June of 1999 and singlefamily starts increased 2.4% in November. While the estimated number of job openings in the construction sector declined in October.

NAHB achieved a number of significant victories in 2019 on a broad range of issues, including housing affordability, taxes, regulations and more. Below are many of these significant accomplishments that helped to create a better business environment and boost the bottom line for our members. • In a Win for NAHB, Congress Revives Expired Housing Tax Extenders • President Trump Signs Executive Order on Housing Affordability • Department of Labor Heeds NAHB Concerns in Raising Overtime Threshold • EPA Repeals Obama-Era WOTUS Rule

NAHB launched a new website designed to better serve its members and stakeholders. The new site features a user-friendly layout, improved search functions and an even more secure eCommerce system.

• Supreme Court Allows Property Rights Plaintiffs to Go Directly to Federal Court • Deal Reached on USMCA Trade Pact • ESA Rules Will Streamline the Permitting Process Read about each of these advocacy accomplishments online at NAHBNow.com.

Registration is open for the live online course, Business Accounting and Job Costing: A Road Map to Profitability from 12-2 p.m. over three consecutive Tuesdays, Feb. 11, 18, 25. Learn the basics of financial planning, budgeting, construction business accounting, job cost systems and financing options that will enable you to effectively track, analyze and communicate costs of goods, overhead and individual job costs. Register online at nahb.org/Education-and-Events/Education.


Millennials and baby boomers are the nation’s largest generations. Below are links to popular NAHB Now blog posts that spell out their unique buyer preferences as well as other interesting home design trends. • Top 10 Home Features Baby Boomers Want – and Don’t Want • Top 10 Home Features Millennials Want – and Don’t Want • 7 Sensational Kitchen Design Trends • Consumers Rate Their Top Bathroom Features • 5 Design Trends to Maximize Space Find them all online at NAHBNow.com.

As we look back at 2019, here’s a quick look at the five most popular NAHB Now blog posts of the year based on the number of views by readers: • Highest Paid Construction Trade Occupations in 2018: Half of payroll workers in construction earn more than $47,290 vs. the U.S. median wage of $38,640. • How Does Your Business Measure Up?: View the latest industry benchmarks on builders’ profit margins. • Important Electrical Code Changes Could Soon Be Adopted Near You: The 2020 edition of the National Electric Code has some significant changes that target residential electrical service. • President Trump Signs Executive Order on Housing Affordability: White House makes this issue a top national priority. • Fed Chair: Home Builders Feel Like They’ve Been Hit by a ‘Perfect Storm’: Nation’s top banker testifies before Congress on severe supply-side challenges facing builders. Read each of the posts online at NAHBNow.com.

In a positive development on the housing affordability front, President Trump today signed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). “NAHB commends President Trump for working tirelessly to make the USMCA a reality and for signing this landmark trade deal,” said NAHB Chairman Dean Mon. “Trade policy affects housing costs and the USMCA represents an important victory for the American economy, for American workers and for housing affordability. By adding new jobs, boosting wages for American workers, and including provisions to lower the costs of materials needed to build and repair homes, this trade pact is a positive step forward to ease America’s housing affordability challenges.” The U.S. residential construction and remodeling industries rely on tens of billions of dollars in building materials sourced from Mexico and Canada annually because America cannot produce enough steel, aluminum and other materials and equipment to meet the needs of the domestic housing industry. The price volatility of these imported materials and equipment are needlessly driving up housing costs and exacerbating the nation’s housing affordability woes. The USMCA is clearly a major improvement over the outdated 25-year-old NAFTA. By modernizing and strengthening free trade with our largest trading partners, the USMCA will boost U.S. economic growth and help keep the prices of homes and home improvements low.


Cold winter days can play havoc on water service lines, and a busted water line is the last thing a homeowner wants to deal with. The North Dakota Rural Water Systems Association recently shared some tips for preventing and thawing frozen water services:

• Determine the location of the frozen pipe by

running your hand along accessible water pipes in the home and feeling for extremely cold spots. If a cold portion of pipe is encountered, thaw it gently, preferably using a hair dryer. DO NOT use a propane torch, as it could cause a rupture of the water line.

• Check the temperature of water if you suspect that

it is about to freeze the line. Do this at a point as close as possible to where water enters the home. If the temperature is close to freezing, run a substantial amount of water until the temperature increases. Showering and washing extra loads of laundry will put the extra water used to good use.

• Leaving the water running at a trickle can help

prevent frozen water service lines. However, trickling water can sometimes lead to frozen sewer service lines. In the past, water and sewer lines were installed in close proximity to each other and often at the same depth. Trickling water in a sewer line can cool to the point of freezing if the sewer line is cold. This could lead to the sewer service freezing shut and causing a sewer backup.

• If you choose to run the water at a trickle, it is

advised to periodically turn the flow of water up to

about a garden hose size stream for several minutes. The increased flow of water allows for a better exchange of heat between the water and water service line/ground and also allows the water to assist in heating the sewer system.

• Electrically heating water lines, using a welder, only

works on metallic lines. It will not work if there is any plastic of PVC piping in the service line. Care should be taken, if using a welder, as they have been known to start fires in adjacent structures. It has also been found the use of welders can increase the speed at which cast iron or ductile iron lines corrode.

• If the water service line does become frozen, open one or two faucets. This will allow the ice to have room to expand without damaging any other piping.

• A final consideration should be given to the capacity of the water system that is providing water service to your home or business. The constant trickling of water, by many customers, can sometimes exceed the available water in portions of a water system.

Why do freezing pipes burst? When water freezes, it expands adding considerable pressure on plumbing pipes. The pressure can cause the pipes to leak or sometimes burst. Pipes that freeze most frequently are pipes that are exposed to severe cold; water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets; and pipes running against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.


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