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NAIL The official magazine of Home Builders Association of Middle Tennessee President David Hughes Vice President Steve Shalibo Secretary/Treasurer Nick Wisniewski Executive Vice President John Sheley Editor and Designer Jim Argo Staff Connie Nicley Hannah Garrard
THE NAIL is published monthly by the Home Builders Association of Middle Tennessee, a non-profit trade association dedicated to promoting the American dream of homeownership to all residents of Middle Tennessee. SUBMISSIONS: THE NAIL welcomes manuscripts and photos related to the Middle Tennessee housing industry for publication. Editor reserves the right to edit due to content and space limitations. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to: HBAMT, 9007 Overlook Boulevard, Brentwood, TN 37027. Phone: (615) 377-1055.
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FEATURES 8 NAHB updates job site COVID-19 safety guidance
NAHB has published important updates to its guidance for construction employers, employees and contractors on coronavirus exposure prevention, preparedness and response.
10 COVID-19 news and information update
An update on the latest impacts of the outbreak and how the industry is responding, including: - Economic & Housing impacts of the outbreak analysis with NAHBâ€™s Chief Economic - NAHB sends policy proposals to White House - Hold out states start to allow construction activity
DEPARTMENTS 6 News & Information
13 SPIKE Club Report 14 May Calendar 14 Chapters and Councils
Visit http://www.hbamt.org/nail.html and click The NAIL Advertising Rates (pdf) to download rates and registration form Email email@example.com for more details
ON THE COVER: NAHB Chief Economist provides economic analysis on the impact of the coronavirus. This and more COVID-19 news and information on page 10 and eleven. May, 2020
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New home sales fall in March on virus concerns
ales of newly built, single-family homes fell 15.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 627,000 units in March, coming off a downward revision in February, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. The March rate is 9.5% lower than the March 2019 pace. “Despite the sharp decline in new home sales this month, the first quarter of 2020 was actually 6.7% higher than the same period last year, reflecting a strong pace prior to the virus outbreak,” said NAHB Chairman Dean Mon. “While we expect to see some further impacts to the industry, we remain confident that housing will be a sector that will help lead the economic recovery.” “The drop in March sales reflects buyer concerns over the virus, and was primarily concentrated in the hardest hit regions of the North-
Despite the sharp decline in new home sales this month, the first quarter of 2020 was 6.7% higher than the same period last year. 6 The NAIL
east and West,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “The weakening in sales is in line with our builder surveys that showed dramatic declines in buyer traffic and builder confidence in April. We expect further slowing of the pace of new home sales in April, as jobless claims continue to rise, before stabilizing later this year.” 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 627,000 units is the number of homes that would sell if this pace continued for the next 12 months. Inventory rose to a 6.4-month supply, with 333,000 new single-family homes for sale, 1.2% lower than March 2019. Of that total, just 76,000 are completed, ready to occupy. The median sales price was $321,400, compared to $310,600 one year ago. Regionally, new home sales were down across all four regions: 41.5% lower in the Northeast, 8.1% down in the Midwest, 0.8% down in the South and 38.5% lower in the West. n
HUD Secretary Carson updates NAHB members on COVID-19
n an exclusive webinar for NAHB members, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and Federal Housing Commissioner Brian Montgomery today outlined specific measures the agency has implemented to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and lauded the efforts of NAHB during this outbreak. “I commend NAHB for your work in educating employees and subcontractors about jobsite practices to stop the spread of COVID-19 – while keeping our nation’s foundational industries moving,” said Carson. “NAHB has been a great partner in our fight to provide safe, quality housing to all Americans,” the secretary added. “Our nation’s home builders are critical to the economy and I am confident they will help lead our country back to full strength when we have defeated the coronavirus.” On March 18, HUD authorized an immediate 60-day moratorium on foreclosures and evictions to help single-family home owners with mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). “The last thing any of us wants is for Americans to lose their homes unnecessarily while we continue to fight this invisible ene-
my,” Carson said. On the multifamily side, Carson urged renters who can still make payments under the CARES Act – the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package passed by Congress — to continue doing so. “If you can pay, please do because that helps you, it helps your fellow American taxpayers and it helps the nation as a whole,” he said. “Don’t take advantage of forbearance if you don’t need it.” The CARES Act supports a variety of programs and initiatives at HUD. Specifically, the CARES Act allocates: l $4 Billion for HUD’s Emergency Solutions Grants Program; l $1.25 Billion for Tenant-Based Rental Assistance; and l $1 Billion for Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance.
An additional $5 billion has also been made available in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to alleviate unanticipated costs from COVID-19 in impacted communities. FHA Commissioner Montgomery said that FHA’s mission is to be a source of strength for the housing market. Towards that end,
Builder confidence in the 55+ market drops on virus concerns
uilder confidence in the single-family 55+ housing market dropped 30 points to 38 in the first quarter, according to the NAHB 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI) released today. This is the lowest reading since the fourth quarter of 2012. The 55+ HMI measures two segments of the 55+ housing market: single-family homes and multifamily condominiums. Each segment of the 55+ HMI measures builder sentiment based on a survey that asks if current sales, prospective buyer traffic and anticipated six-month sales for that market are good, fair or poor (high, average or low for traffic). “Before the coronavirus pandemic, the 55+ housing market was doing very well and was poised to continue on that path moving forward,” said Harry Miller III, chairman of
NAHB’s 55+ Housing Industry Council and president of Regal Builders LLC in Dover, Del. “Now, many builders are in a holding pattern as potential home buyers in that age bracket are concerned about visiting sales centers and are waiting to see how the crisis will impact their ability to sell their existing homes.” For the three index components of the 55+ single-family HMI, present sales fell 25 points to 48, expected sales for the next six months dropped 41 points to 34 and traffic of prospec-
FHA has put in a place a number of solutions to help lenders originate new loans, including electronic submission of documents, e-closings, flexibilities on appraisal inspections, and waivers for electronic condominium approval applications. “Many of the changes we at FHA have made have been designed to increase access to FHA loans,” said Montgomery. “If there is any silver lining (to this pandemic), it will result in online trends to make the origination process more efficient and lower costs to borrowers. We will continue to provide any and all flexibilities if and when they make sense.” Regarding the possibility of using CDBG or HOME funds to meet needs that have risen out of the COVID-19 crisis, Montgomery said that is in the works. Montgomery also said that “whenever it makes sense,” HUD would consider extending deadlines for construction and required inspections for the FHA-insured multifamily mortgage programs. He emphasized that FHA “wants to provide maximum flexibility. We provide waivers whenever we can.” “I am grateful for the continued partnership of NAHB members who are serving so many millions of Americans in need while we all do this essential work together,” said Carson. Members can access a replay of the webinar in the Webinars and Town Halls section of nahb. org/coronavirus. n
tive buyers fell 33 points to 18. The 55+ multifamily condo HMI fell 29 points to 29—the lowest reading since the fourth quarter of 2012. All three index components posted decreases from the previous quarter: Present sales fell 24 points to 36, expected sales for the next six months dropped 34 points to 27 and traffic of prospective buyers fell 39 points to 14. All four components of the 55+ multifamily rental market went down compared to the previous quarter: Present production dropped 18 points to 47, future expected production fell 24 points to 42, present demand decreased 32 points to 50 and future expected demand dropped 34 points to 49. “Like the broader housing market, the 55+ housing market has taken a significant hit due to the effects of the pandemic,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “While we expect to see some further impacts in the short-term, we do expect the housing market to stabilize later this year and help lead the economy back to more solid footing.” n May, 2020
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NAHB updates job site COVID-19 safety guidance
he Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC) has published important updates to its guidance for construction employers, employees and contractors on coronavirus exposure prevention, preparedness and response. NAHB is a key member of CISC. The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Plan for Construction describes how to prevent worker exposure to coronavirus, protective measures to be taken on the job site, personal protective equipment and work practice controls to be used, cleaning and disinfecting procedures, and what to do if a worker becomes sick. The plan served as the basis for materials provided for the COVID-19 Job Site Safety Stand Down held April 16. The updates in Version 2 of the plan include some significant changes and additions
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as more data have become available on the spread of COVID-19, including: l New guidance on the use of face coverings, including masks and cloth coverings (bandanas, etc.) l A new section, Guidance for Critical Infrastructure Employers, based on new CDC guidance l Specific procedures for screening and allowing visitors onto job sites l An appendix on the procedures for monitoring the temperature of workers, including next steps if a high fever is found l Additional guidance on ride sharing, and the use of common drinking and eating sources l And much more
The safety plan is customizable for companies to meet state requirements for a coronavirus response plan and includes a graphic-based poster intended for display. Home builders, general contractors, contractors and other companies conducting work on construction job sites are encouraged to download the guidance, customize it for their companies, and distribute or display to workers. The safety plan also contains authorization letters for workers to carry with them should they be asked by local law enforcement their purpose for being out of the house. Access the resources in the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response section of nahb. org. For any questions, please contact Rob Matuga at firstname.lastname@example.org. n
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Economic and housing impacts of virus outbreak NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz provides analysis on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic:
ue to government-imposed shutdowns connected to COVID-19 mitigation, new jobless claims continued at a high, although slightly diminished pace this week with 4.4 million more unemployed. Over the past five weeks, the total number of jobless claims has reached 26 million, implying an unemployment rate of at least 11%. We should see smaller new claims numbers in the near future, but the overall impact on the labor market is massive and will be reflected in a surge for the April unemployment rate, which will be reported on May 8th. New single-family home sales in March declined, but performed better than expected. Contracts for new sales fell 15.4% from the February pace to a 627,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate. Despite the weakness in March, strength in January and February left the first quarter total of new home sales 6.7% higher than the total for the first quarter of 2019. Data also suggested that sales for smaller builders held up better in March, as they have a greater market share in more decentralized
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exurban and rural markets. Overall monthsâ€™ supply of inventory increased to 6.4. The same pattern was seen for resale housing activity. After reaching a 13-year high in February, existing home sales declined 8.5% in March, the largest monthly decline in more than four years. Inventory remains limited in the resale market, with a monthsâ€™ supply measure of just 3.4. In addition to declines in sales volume, the housing market continues to adjust to new market conditions. For example, NAHB survey data collected in early April indicates that 24% of builders operate in markets where virtual inspections may occur. A full 20 percentage points of that share are markets where this is new policy in response to the virus crisis. Thirty-two percent of builders operate in markets where third-party inspections may occur, but for two-thirds of that total this rule was allowed before the current crisis. NAHB survey data also indicates the impact the virus is having on the remodeling sector. Ninety-six percent of remodelers report declines in customer inquiries. And consistent with single-family and multifamily construction, 59% of remodelers report at least some
issues with building material access. Upcoming data will feature the initial estimate for first quarter GDP growth. With the current recession having begun in March, the data are expected to show negative growth for the quarter, the first decline since the first quarter of 2014. Additional data will explore the current rate of homeownership. Finally, the debate concerning the impacts of recent fiscal and monetary policy actions is underway. For example, generous unemployment benefits may result in a slowing of some small business re-opening, such as restaurants, due to the difference between offered wages and existing benefits. Additionally, an editorial in the Wall Street Journal on April 23 suggested that recent monetary policy moves would result in inflation. While this is possible in the long-run, in the short-run the economy faces greater risks for deflation, which is a more painful phenomenon for holders of business and household debt. Inflationary pressures should be relieved as the economy reopens. As more data arrive, we will of course continue to update our outlook. Additional insights and resources from NAHB are available at nahb.org/coronavirus. n
NAHB sends White House policy proposals to boost housing
AHB recently sent the White House a list of policy recommendations designed to help the residential construction industry survive the COVID-19 economic disruption and be a force that leads the economy out of recession. NAHB’s proposals fall into several categories, including meeting the short-term needs of the housing industry and increasing housing supply.
Short-term proposals would: l Improve access to the Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program for single-family and multifamily
builders and developers; l Advance the maximum $10,000 amount to all applicants of the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program; l Ensure the effectiveness of the Federal Reserve’s “Main Street Lending Program” for single-family and multifamily developers; l Provide direct rental assistance and other solutions to multifamily owners to address lost rental payments; and l Temporarily increase mortgage limits in high-cost areas for FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Policy recommendations to provide critical
support to housing production include: l Creating a secondary market for acquisi-
tion, development and construction loans; l Shifting homeownership tax incentives from a deduction to a credit; l Establishing a permanent minimum 4% credit floor for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit; l Revising Federal Housing Administration condominium regulations to allow approvals for proposed or under construction projects; and l Increasing funding for workforce development programs.
These are just some of the overall policy recommendations presented to the White House. The complete list, which includes detailed analysis of all the proposals, can be found on nahb.org. n
Last hold out states starting to allow construction activity
hanks to efforts by NAHB and state home builder associations, the few remaining states that have halted residential construction activity due the COVID-19 pandemic — Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington and Vermont — are taking steps to allow home building to resume production. In a critical win for NAHB and the residential construction sector, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on March 28 designated construction of single-family and multifamily housing as an “Essential Infrastructure Business.” Although this designation was not binding for individual states, most states followed the federal guidelines. To keep workers safe on the job site, NAHB and other members of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition put together a Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Plan for Construction that outlines the steps every employer and employee should take to reduce the risk of exposure to and transmission of COVID-19. It describes how to prevent worker exposure to coronavirus, protective measures to be taken on the job site, personal protective equipment and work practice controls to be used, cleaning and disinfecting procedures, and what to do if a worker becomes sick. The plan served as the basis for materials provided for the COVID-19 Job Site Safety Stand Down held April 16.
While it was clearly demonstrated that residential construction could continue in a safe manner as long as workers were cautious and altered their normal behavior to comply with these new safety guidelines, five states refused to designate home building as an essential business. NAHB and the state home builders associations remained in contact with the five governors and state officials and now that is changing. Here is the latest update: Michigan: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said in an April 27 news conference that she may soon allow construction to restart in the state if the trajectory of coronavirus hospitalizations goes down and testing goes up. She told Politico that “low-risk” work such as construction and other “outdoor enterprises” could reopen in the next phase. New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has announced plans to reopen regions of the state in coordinated phases, starting with construction and manufacturing, in mid-May. The Empire State’s number of cases and death rate from the coronavirus is the highest in the nation. Pennsylvania: Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced that all businesses in the construction industry are permitted to resume in-person operations beginning on Friday, May 1, as long as mandatory safety protocols are in place. The order says that operations can resume “pursuant to the Governor’s and Secretary of
Health’s April 20, 2020 amendments to the Business Closure Orders so long as their activities strictly adhere to this guidance.” View more details here. Washington: Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced the first phase of construction openings in his state on April 24. Reps. Dan Newhouse (R) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R) also contributed to this effort. More details on the construction openings can be found here. Building Industry Association of Washington Executive Vice President Greg Lane was part of the working group that developed the safety guidance to allow construction to begin in the state. Vermont: As of April 27, Gov. Phil Scott (R) allowed outdoor home building activities to resume with a maximum of five total workers per job site. Interior construction may occur in uninhabited structures, adhering to social distancing standards, with no more than five workers maintaining social distance between them whenever possible. Access NAHB’s updated map showing where construction can continue and all of the safety resources to help employers and workers remain safe on the job site. NAHB is actively monitoring government and public health information on coronavirus and will be constantly updating the Coronavirus Preparedness page on nahb.org. n May, 2020
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SPIKE REPORT Sonny Shackelford 219 Davis Lamb 213 Jackson Downey 182 Jim McLean 164
Fifteen SPIKES (in bold) increased their recruitment numbers last month. What is a SPIKE? SPIKES recruit new members and help the association retain members. Here is the latest SPIKE report as of March 31, 2020. Top 20 Big Spikes Jim Ford 912 Virgil Ray 821 Bill King 776 Mitzi Spann 777 Terry Cobb 570 Jim Fischer 567 John Whitaker 564 Trey Lewis 481 James Carbine 400 Jennifer Earnest 373 David Crane 329 Jimmy Franks 308 Cindy Huber 303 Kevin Hale 301 Reese Smith III 261 Steve Moody 219
Life Spikes Randall Smith 149 Tonya Esquibel 148 Harry Johnson 146 Steve Cates 142 C.W. Bartlett 138 Kevin Woodward 137 David Hughes 133 Helmet Mundt 133 Jordan Clark 122 B.J. Hanson 121 Steve Hewlett 119 Carmen Ryan 119 John Zelenak 116 Justin Hicks 111 Dave McGowan 110 Michael Dillon 109 Edsel Charles 108 Wiggs Thompson 104 Duane Vanhook 102 Nick Wisniewski 98 Joe Morgan 91 Jeff Zeitlin 87 Christina Cunningham 84 Steve Shalibo 78 Keith Porterfield 77 Erin Richardson 77 Beth Sturm 74
Lori Fisk-Conners 70 Sam Henley 70 Jody Derrick 69 Brandon Rickman 67 Ron Schroeder 66 Eugene James 64 Marty Maitland 60 Andrew Neuman 56 John Broderick 55 Derenda Sircy 52 John Ganschow 49 Rick Olszewski 49 Phillip Smith 46 Ashley Crews 45 Ricky Scott 45 Bryan Edwards 44 Christina James 42 Frank Jones 36 Frank Tyree 31 Don Mahone 30 Joe Dalton 27 Spikes Jeffrey Caruth 23 Perry Pratt 19 Ryan Meade 18 Nicole Bird 15 Tammy Chambers 12 Eric DeBerry 12 Rob Pease 12 Rachel Holloway 11 MacKenzie Curtis 10 Will Montgomery 10
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MAY CALENDAR Sunday
CHAPTERS & COUNCILS CHAPTERS CHEATHAM COUNTY CHAPTER Chapter President - Roy Miles: 615/646-3303 Cheatham County Chapter details are being planned. Next meeting: to be announced. Chapter RSVP Line: 615/377-9651, ext. 310 DICKSON COUNTY CHAPTER Chapter President - Mark Denney: 615/446-2873. The Dickson County Chapter meets on the third Tuesday of the month, 12:00 p.m. at Coltonâ€™s Steakhouse in Dickson. Next meeting: to be announced. Topic: to be announced. Price: FREE, lunch dutch treat. Chapter RSVP Line: 615/377-9651, ext. 264 MAURY COUNTY CHAPTER Maury County Chapter details are currently being planned. Next meeting: to be announced. Chapter RSVP line: 615-377-9651, ext. 312; for callers outside the 615 area code, 1-800-571-9995, ext. 312 METRO/NASHVILLE CHAPTER Chapter President - Tonya Esquibel The Metro/Nashville Chapter meets on the fourth Monday of the month, 11:30 a.m. at the HBAMT offices. Next meeting: to be announced. Topic: to be announced. Builders Free pending sponsorship. Price: $10 per person with RSVP ($20 w/o RSVP). Chapter RSVP Line: 615/377-9651, ext. 261 ROBERTSON COUNTY CHAPTER
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Next meeting: to be announced. Robertson County RSVP line: 615-377-9651, ext. 313. SUMNER COUNTY CHAPTER Chapter President - Joe Dalton: 615/972-7149 The Sumner County Chapter meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month, 11:30 a.m. at the new Hendersonville Library. Next meeting: to be announced. Chapter RSVP Line: 615/377-9651, ext. 262 WILLIAMSON COUNTY CHAPTER Chapter President - John Nehrenz The Williamson County Chapter meets on the third Tuesday of the month, 11:30 a.m. at the HBAMT offices. Next meeting: to be announced. Builders Free pending sponsorship. Price: $10 per person with RSVP ($20 w/o RSVP). Chapter RSVP Line: 615/377-9651, ext. 305 WILSON COUNTY CHAPTER Chapter President - Nick Wisniewski The Wilson County Chapter meets on the second Wednesday of the month, 11:30 a.m. at the Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce in Lebanon. Next meeting: to be announced. Topic: to be announced. Chapter RSVP Line: 615/377-9651, ext. 309 COUNCILS GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL Council President - Erin Richardson: 615/883-8526. The Green Building Council meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month, 11:00 a.m.
Next meeting: to be announced. Price: free for Green Building Council members pending sponsorship; $20 for non-members with RSVP ($25 w/o). Council RSVP Line: 615/377-9651, ext. 308 HBAMT REMODELERS COUNCIL Council President - David Crane. The HBAMT Remodelers Council meets on the third Wednesday of the month at varying locations. Next meeting: to be announced. Topic: to be announced. Price: free with RSVP. Council RSVP Line: 615/377-9651, ext. 263 INFILL BUILDERS COUNCIL The Infill Builders Council typically meets on the third Thursday of the month, 11:30 a.m. at the HBAMT offices Next meeting: to be announced. Price: to be announced. RSVP to: 615/377-9651, ext. 265. MIDDLE TENN SALES & MARKETING COUNCIL Council President - Christina James. The SMC typically meets on the first Thursday of the month, 9:00 a.m. at the HBAMT offices. Next meeting: to be announced. SMC members free pending sponsorship; non-SMC members $25 w/RSVP, $35 w/o RSVP Council RSVP Line: 615/377-9651, ext. 260.
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The May 2020 issue of The Nail, the official monthly publication of the Home Builders Association of Middle Tennessee (HBAMT).