Thursday, October 7, 2010

Gabriel Builders Receives National Housing Quality Certification

Gabriel Builders is one of 19 home builders nationwide that has been recognized by NAHB Research Center with the National Housing Quality Certification.

In order to become NHQ Certified, builders must provide a documented management process, implement a customer-focused quality management system meeting NHQ builder requirements, and participate in a rigorous audit by NAHB Research quality experts.

NAHB Research Center created a quality management program to mirror the ISO-9000 program used by manufacturers. The program fits the specific needs of the home building industry. The National Housing Quality (NHQ) Builder and Trade Contractor Certification program emphasizes “building it right the first time, every time,” rather than wasting time and money having problems inspected out of jobs.

Find out more about how consistent quality can equal increased profitability for your company by calling the NHQ Hotline at 888-602-4663 or clicking on this link.

Visit Gabriel Builders' website by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Air Force Housing Project May Lead to Work Opportunity

South Carolina is fortunate to have a sizable residential construction project coming online in early 2011 at Shaw Air Force Base and Charleston Air Force Base. This is part of a large Federal contract for several Air Force Bases in southern states.

The contractor for the projects in South Carolina is Forrest City Military Communities LLC. The contractor for construction of the housing component is Hensel Phelps Construction ( Hensel Phelps will handle on-site supervision of the home construction and plans to subcontract with framing, electrical, plumbing, landscape, and other companies to provide specialty contracting on the project.

This is an opportunity for HBA members to land new work.

In order to be a local subcontractor on this federal project, HBA members must:

-Demonstrate their expertise in performing the required work
-Be able to secure a 100% performance bond for the work they are bidding on
-Must have a track record of completing construction work on schedule.

The bonding requirement will be new to many HBA members. Your HBA has been advised that the bonding will be on the specialty work subcontracted to Hensel Phelps, and not on the value of the entire house. We also understand that this kind of bonding requires CPA certified financial statements when the amount of the performance bond exceeds $450,000. A list of bonding companies is available by contacting your HBA office.

The national contractors (Forrest City Military Communities and Hensel Phelps) will conduct an industry forum in South Carolina in November to identify potential subcontractors. A meeting notice will be sent to HBA members when the date is set. However, you do not need to wait for the industry forum to contact the contractors if you are interested in this work. Interest subcontractors may contact Hensel Phelps now.

If you are an HBA member and are interested in participating on this project and are able to meet the minimum requirements of the contractor listed above, call Jeff Schules with Hensel Phelps at 970-352-6565. You will be placed on a list of interested contractors and will be contacted when the contractor is ready to move forward. Of course you also may wait until the industry forum in November; both are acceptable.

Construction will begin in early spring.

New Study Shows American Dream Under Threat from Excessive Regulation

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 6, 2010 — New research from Demographia, an international public policy consulting firm, shows that the American Dream of home ownership has all but ended in some metropolitan areas.

The just released Demographia Residential Land & Regulation Index shows, for example, that new house costs have skyrocketed in San Diego as a result of land and regulation costs, which have risen to 13 times normal. In four other metropolitan areas (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Portland, Seattle and Washington-Baltimore) land and regulatory costs have risen from two to six times normal. In contrast, land and regulation costs in six metropolitan areas (Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Indianapolis, Raleigh-Durham and St. Louis) remain at historic normal levels.

The increase in land and regulation cost is estimated to have added $220,000 to the price of entry-level new housing in San Diego and from $29,000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul to $74,000 in Washington-Baltimore. “Excessive regulations have driven house prices up strongly in some metropolitan areas, where the American Dream of home ownership could become a thing of the past,” said Wendell Cox, principal of Demographia. He added that “in other metropolitan areas, the Dream of home ownership remains alive and it is not surprising that households are flocking to these areas.”

Cox went on to say that “this massive loss in housing affordability was an unanticipated consequence of regulations that have imposed urban growth boundaries, building moratoria, excessively expensive development impact fees and bureaucratic processes.” Before the restrictive regulations were imposed, there was little difference in new or existing house prices relative to incomes among the nation’s metropolitan areas.

More restrictive regulations often go by the innocent sounding labels of “smart growth” and “growth management,” however these regulations are routinely adopted without any consideration of the longer term impacts on housing affordability and the standard of living for average Americans. These impacts are particularly ominous given the recession, proposals for higher tax increases, and the possibility that job creation and economic growth may be less robust in the future.

Economic research has documented the association between more restrictive land use regulations and house prices. This reduces the standard of living by leaving less household income for other needs. Just as importantly, more restrictive land use regulations tend to reduce job creation and economic growth in the metropolitan areas where implemented.

Read the entire report by clicking here.

Foreclosures drop in second quarter

Foreclosures across South Carolina dropped more than 10% in the second quarter of 2010 compared to the second quarter of 2009, according to a real estate market report on residential housing.

Still, across the country, foreclosures accounted for nearly a quarter of all residential home sales in the second quarter of 2010.

In the Upstate, foreclosures fell faster than the state as a whole with the exception of Anderson County.

Anderson 102 2%
Greenville 222 -24.23%
Spartanburg 128 -23.81%

Statewide 1,799 -18.19%

Read the entire report at GSA Business by clicking here.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pending Home Sales on the Rise?

According to a new report in Businessweek, The number of contracts to purchase previously owned homes in the U.S. probably increased in August for a second month, a sign the housing market is stabilizing.

Read the entire report by clicking here.