Thursday, July 25, 2013

Quarterly Economic Report

That latest quarterly economic report is ready for viewing.  Produced in partnership with RESH Marketing and sponsored by Clark's Services, the report provides HBA members with up-to-date information about the Upstate housing market in an easy-to-consume five-minute video format.

The report is presented by Joseph Von Nessen, PhD., CMP, Director of the Real Estate Center at the University of South Carolina Moore School of Business.

The key findings in this quarter are the weakening of employment, which was stronger in 2012 than 2013, largely the result of the Federal Government Sequester and the increase in the Federal Payroll Tax. The report also found that intense competition, particularly in Greenville, has resulted in more than 70 percent of new homes have been built by the top 10 builders.

Watch the full Upstate Third Quarter 2013 Economic Report at by clicking here.

Your HBA Membership Makes A Difference

In 2013, your Home Builders Association worked diligently to advance the issues most important to our members. Your HBA was actively engaged with more than seventy bills to promote and protect the vital work of home builders and developers across South Carolina. Our efforts included: building codes, tax credits for abandoned buildings, insurance reform, extension of permits, storm water regulations and much more.

Our efforts have saved the home building industry more than $515 million in 2013 alone.  For every $1 invested in HBA dues, members received a $37 return!

Your HBA influences government on all levels. Our goal is to protect affordable housing and to stop needless regulatory costs, which ultimately trickles down and effects everyone who works in the home.

If you know of someone who makes their living in the construction industry, but is not a member, ask them why. Keep our industry strong and ask that they join the Home Builders Association today to make sure they have a job tomorrow!

FHFA: Refinance Volume Down Slightly in May but Remains Strong

Refinance volume dipped slightly in May from the prior month but remained strong as mortgage rates stayed just above record low levels, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s May 2013 Refinance Report. More than 418,000 refinances took place in May, with nearly 85,000 completed through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). More than 2.6 million refinances have now been completed through HARP since the program began in April 2009.

Also in the May 2013 report:
  • HARP volume represented 20 percent of total refinance volume in May.
  • Borrowers with loan-to-value (LTV) ratios greater than 105 percent accounted for 44 percent of the volume of HARP loans through May.
  • The number of completed HARP refinances for deeply underwater borrowers continued to represent a significant portion of total HARP volume. In May 2013, 19 percent of the loans refinanced through HARP had a LTV ratio greater than 125 percent.
  • Year-to-date through May, eighteen percent of HARP refinances for underwater borrowers were for 15- and 20-year mortgages.
  • Year-to-date through May, HARP refinances represented 60 percent of total refinances in Nevada and 51 percent of total refinances in Florida, more than double the 21 percent of total refinances nationwide over the same period.
  • The top five states with the highest number of HARP loans since the inception of the program through May include: California (368,905), Florida (235,223), Michigan (178,035), Illinois (175,521), and Arizona (130,894).
To read the complete Refinance Report at, click here.

Did You Know? Housing Finance

Did you know that 91.2 percent of all new mortgages are backed by Federal government programs like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?  And now that our government has replaced private enterprise in the mortgage finance business, Congress wants to end the program.

You can help by telling Congress to take a more gradual approach to housing finance reform.  Click here to answer your HBA's call to action on housing finance reform.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Featured Member to Member Discount: Dipple Plumbing

Dipple Plumbing Electrical Heating & Air
211 N. Pleasantburg Drive
Greenville, SC 29607
(864) 271-1205
DISCOUNT:  $50 Off any service. Cannot be used on dispatch fee or combined with any other offer. Please tell dispatcher at time of appointment about discount.
EXP DATE:  None. 
 For more information on this and other great offers please visit the HBA of Greenville website by clicking here 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Southern Builders Network Education Conference Coming In November

Join the HomeBuilders Association of South Carolina for the Southern Builders Network Education Conference November 7-10 at The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa in Hilton Head, SC. This exciting new event is designed to deliver a valuable benefit to members and to provide a distinct advantage to anyone in the home building industry.

Southern Builders Network Education Conference (SBN) is a highly intensive, comprehensive educational and social experience reserved for home building professionals within the HBA. SBN will provide you the perfect platform to acquire new business strategies, while increasing your knowledge of current building industry practices. It offers an ideal and fun environment for establishing relationships and a means for increasing business profitability.

Educational sessions can include:
  • Construction Supply & Management 101
  • Building to the IECC at No Additional Costs
  • Top 10 Legal Tips for Anyone Working in the Construction Industry
  • Technology & Construction Apps Every Builder Should Have and Use
  • How Will the National Health Care System Affect Your Business?
  • A Look at Your Company & Personal Liability
  • Market Analysis in the New Economy
  • How to Have a National Marketing Campaign on a Local Budget
  • The Motivation Needed to Keep Your Business on the Cutting Edge
  • A Whole System Approach to Green Building
Education sessions presented by the industry’s most prominent experts, coupled with relaxing social events and the possibility for personal downtime, makes SBN a unique opportunity your entire family will enjoy.

Register for the Southern Builders Network Education Conference today and take advantage of special rates and excursions!

FHFA: House Price Index Up 0.7 Percent in May

U.S. house price appreciation continued in May 2013, rising 0.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) monthly House Price Index (HPI). The May HPI change marks the sixteenth consecutive monthly price increase in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted index.

The previously reported 0.7 percent increase in April was revised downward to a 0.5 percent
increase. The HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages either sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Compared to May 2012, house prices were up 7.3 percent in May. The U.S. index is 11.2 percent below its April 2007 peak and is roughly the same as the January 2005 index level.

For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly price changes from April to May ranged from -1.5 percent in the East South Central division to +1.8 percent in the South Atlantic division, while the 12-month changes ranged from +2.7 percent in the East South Central division to +15.8 percent in the Pacific division.

Monthly index values and appreciation rate estimates for recent periods are provided in the
table and graphs on the following pages. Click here to read the complete historical data on the house price index at

Be glad you don't live in Greece

While the US economy is not great, be grateful you don't live in Greece. Unemployment there is 27.4 percent, youth unemployment is a staggering 58 percent and car registrations are down 80 percent. This is because GDP is in its fifth straight year of decline and by the end of 2013, will be back where it was in 2006, a decline of roughly 26 percent! By comparison, peak-to-trough US GDP declined by only 5 percent.

Elliot F. Eisenberg, Ph.D.
GraphsandLaughs, LLC