Friday, December 17, 2010

HBA of Greenville Elects Wayne Moore 2011 President

The Home Builders Association of Greenville elected Wayne Moore president of the association for 2011. He takes office January 1, 2011. The president is the top elected posted in the Home Builders Association of Greenville.

Moore is president of Harold Moore Builder, and is a second generation home builder and remodeler. Moore previously served as president of the association in 2000 and has served as a member of the association's Board of Directors for more than a decade. In addition, Moore is a Director of the Home Builders Association of South Carolina. Moore is a graduate of Clemson University.

In addition, the association's members elected Hal Dillard president elect of the Home Builders Association of Greenville. Dillard will serve as president in 2012. Dillard is President of H. Dillard Company, a Greenville-based home builder and property management company. Dillard also is a second generation builder and previously served as president of the association in 2004. Dillard is currently District Vice President of the Home Builders Association of South Carolina.

Also elected to the Board of Directors of the Home Builders Association of South Carolina are the following members:
  • Vice President: Robert Markel, GMR
  • Treasurer: Chuck Childress
  • Associate Vice President: Scott Presley
  • Immediate Past President: Thomas Dillard, CGP
  • President’s Appointee: Richard Powers
  • Associate Director: Larry Hazenfield
  • Associate Director: Lou Hutchings
  • Builder Director: Hardy Peters
  • Builder Director: Chris Bailey
  • Builder Director: Alan Boone
  • Builder Director: Mike Freeman, GMB
  • Builder Director: Brad Thompson, CMB
Continuing to serve on the association's Board of Directors:
  • Associate Director: Michael Cox
  • Associate Director: Jim Blume
  • Associate Director: Tom Ward
  • Associate Director: Eric Hedrick
  • Builder Director: Dan Rawls
Please congratulate and support the 2011 Board of Directors.

Quality of Life Driving Upstate Population Growth

The recently completed census found that population in the Greenville County grew by 18.9 percent. According to an analysis by the Greenville News, the newcomers have tended to be more highly educated, and nearly 15,000 of the newcomers to the county since 2000 have been foreign born. As a result, the percentage of those living in Greenville County who have a four-year college degree is 29.1 percent, above the national average.

Reasons sited for this trend include a high quality of life, employment opportunities, proximity to the I-85 corridor and other larger cities like Atlanta and Charlotte, and easy access to the mountains and the coast.

Housing Starts Rise 3.9 Percent in November

Nationwide housing starts rose 3.9 percent in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 555,000 units from an upwardly revised number in the previous month, according to newly released data from the U.S. Commerce Department. This marked the first upward movement in new-home production since August, and was entirely attributable to a nearly 7 percent gain in single-family home building.

"Builders are very cautiously adding to their diminished inventories in preparation for the spring buying season and an anticipated modest revival in buyer demand when the economy shows more signs of improvement," said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. "That said, we are still looking at a very low level of housing production, due largely to builders' inability to obtain construction financing."

"The modest increase in single-family starts and permits in November is consistent with a very low inventory of unsold new homes and our member surveys that have shown a degree of optimism among builders with regard to sales expectations in the next six months," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "However, builders continue to find it extremely difficult to obtain credit for acquisition, development and construction activities, and this is weighing on their ability to initiate viable new projects that could generate much-needed job growth."

The 3.9 percent gain in overall housing starts this November was due entirely to a 6.9 percent increase to a 465,000 unit seasonally adjusted annual rate of new-home production on the single-family side. Meanwhile, multifamily housing starts declined 9.1 percent to a 90,000-unit rate.

Regionally, starts activity showed gains in all but one part of the country in November. The Midwest, South and West each posted gains, of 15.8 percent, 2.3 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively, while the Northeast posted a 2.5 percent decline.

Permit issuance, which can be an indicator of future building activity, declined 4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 530,000 units in November, its lowest level since April of 2009. However, this decline was entirely due to a 23 percent drop-off in the more volatile multifamily sector, where permits hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of just 114,000 units. In contrast, single-family permits rose 3 percent to a rate of 416,000 units – their highest level since this June.

Regionally, permit activity was mixed in November, with the Northeast and Midwest registering declines of 8.3 percent and 22.2 percent, respectively, and the South and West posting gains of 1.9 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Employment in Greenville Improving Faster than State, Nation

The employment forecast for the Greenville area is improving according to a report in the Greenville News. Economists see a developing trend where unemployment in Greenville County tracks below the state and national average in 2011.

According to Bruce Yandle, Clemson University Economist, "Greenville is already doing better than the state in the recovery."

According to the Greenville News, the county's jobless rate is at 8.7 percent, below the national rate of 9.3 percent and the state rate of 10.7 percent, and dramatic improvement over the county's 11 percent unemployment rate one year ago.

Economic development and job creation in the automotive sector is widely credited with the employment improvement in the Greenville area.

Upstate Forever Adds Four to its Board of Directors

Upstate Forever, a nonprofit conservation group serving 10 Upstate counties, has added four new members to its Board of Directors:
  • Diane Culbertson, president of Gray Court-Owings Historical Society
  • J. Drew Lanham, professor of forestry and natural resources at Clemson University
  • Mary Miller, former journalist and assistant provost at Clemson University
  • Susan Stewart Riordan, former journalist
Upstate Forever is a Community Partner of the Home Builders Association of Greenville.

Read more about the new board members at GSA Business by clicking here.

State Fire Marshal Subject of State Audit, Hearing

The S.C. Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) was the subject of an audit by the S.C. Legislative Audit Council, a semi-independent agency that audits state agencies and programs when requested by members of the S.C. General Assembly. In addition, the Fire Marshal's office also will be the subject of a publish hearing by the S.C. Senate later this month.

From the audit: "We identified several areas of concern regarding the regulation of fire extinguishing equipment used by South Carolina businesses and other organizations. First, policies and practices of the OSFM have been inconsistent with the fire codes pertaining to portable fire extinguishers that are no longer manufactured and standards for commercial stoves. Second, the OSFM has not adequately informed regulated organizations on how to gain free access to the fire codes, the specific fire code sections on which citations of violations are based, or their rights to appeal. Finally, the OSFM does not have a review process to check for unnecessary upgrades of fire extinguishing equipment that vendors tell organizations are needed to comply with the fire codes. As a result, organizations, such as businesses, schools, and hospitals in South Carolina are likely to have incurred unnecessary costs."

The audit was requested by state Senator Glenn Reese (D-Spartanburg). S.C. Sen. Kevin Bryant (R-Anderson) will convene a meeting of the Senate Labor, Commerce & Industry (LCI) Committee on December 16 in Columbia to hear “horror stories” related to the OSFM.

The state Fire Marshal, John Reich, was the leading proponent of the mandatory fire sprinkler legislation that was considered by the S.C. General Assembly in 2010. As a result of lobbying by the Home Builders Association of South Carolina, enforcement of mandatory fire sprinklers in new homes was delayed until January 1, 2014, at the earliest.

Read the entire audit report by clicking here.

Watch a report on

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

USC Moore School of Business: "Economy is healing"

Economists from the Moore School of Business said that South Carolina’s slowly improving economy will be helped by burgeoning retail sales in late 2010 and improvements in jobless numbers and personal income in 2011.

The economic forecast was delivered today in Columbia by University of South Carolina economists at the Darla Moore School of Business’ 30th annual Economic Outlook Conference.

Construction activity is expected to drop slightly in early 2011 and then finally rebound to a 3.7% growth rate later in the year.

Read the entire report at GSA Business by clicking her.

View the presentations by Dr. Doug Woodward and Dr. Joey Von Nesson by clicking here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Greenville Growth Tops State

According to a report in the Greenville News, Greenville County by 72,000 residents in the last decade, a growth rate of 18.9 percent. Most of that growth was in the suburban areas outside of the City of Greenville, which grew by 10.3 percent since 2000. Greenville County's population now stands at 451,428. The City of Greenville's population is 61,782.

By comparison, the State of South Carolina grew by 13.7 percent to 4,561,242.

The new population statistics are the result of the recent population census conducted by the Federal government.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Atherton Announces New Sales Subsidiary

Atherton Company has announced a new subsidiary that will specialize in new home sales and marketing: New Home Star.

"We have affiliated with a national group to give our company the tools to help builders and developers in the Upstate the tools they need to market new homes without the need of hiring a dedicated sales team," Atherton President Barbara Ryan said.

Ryan serves as Chairman of the HBA of Greenville Sales and Marketing Committee.

Real Estate Blog Predicts Increased Demand for Housing

A real estate blog reports that both Fannie Mae and the National Association of Realtors predict that demand for housing will increase by more than 20 percent in 2011.

Read the report at by clicking here.

Builder Review, December 9, Published

Read the latest association news and information about upcoming programs and events.

Click here to read Builder Review.