Friday, November 7, 2014

Single-Family Production Poised to Take Off in 2015

A growing economy, rising household formations, low mortgage rates and pent-up demand will help single-family housing production to rev up in 2015 while a growth in renters will keep the multifamily market at cruising altitude or higher, according to economists who participated in yesterday’s National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) 2014 Fall Construction Forecast Webinar.

Here’s what the economists had to say:

NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe
  • The single-family sector will finish out the year much stronger than it began and set the stage for a robust 2015.
  • This is mostly due to significant pent-up demand and steady job and economic growth that will allow trade-up buyers who have delayed home purchases due to job insecurity to enter the marketplace.
  • Single-family production is expected to rise 2.5% this year to 637,000 units, increase an additional 26% next year to 802,000 and reach 1.1 million units in 2016.
  • Multifamily starts, which are now at a normal level of production, are projected to increase 15% in 2014 to 356,000 units and hold steady next year.
Mark Zandi, Chief Economist, Moody’s Analytics
  • Strong job growth means that the prospects are good for continued gains in overall economic and housing activity.
  • The current supply of housing is running just over 1 million units on annualized basis, well below the 1.7 million units needed for the longer run.
  • Mortgage rates will rise from their current rate of about 4% to 6% by the end of 2017, but the housing market will be fine because of better employment, higher wages and solid economic growth.
  • Single-family starts could be closing in on 1 million units by the end of 2015 and multifamily production could go as high as 500,000 units.
Robert Denk, NAHB Assistant Vice President for Forecast and Analysis
  • Job growth and housing go hand-in-hand.
  • Energy-producing states — North Dakota, Texas, Louisiana, Montana and Wyoming –where job growth is strong are also at the forefront of the housing recovery while Iowa and other farm belt states supported by agricultural commodities are also running above the nationwide average.
  • Meanwhile, states such as Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Alabama, Rhode Island and New Jersey that are coping with weak labor markets are also struggling to get their housing activity back on track.
  • By the end of 2016 the top 40% of states will be back to normal single-family production levels, compared to the bottom 20%, which will still be below 75%.

ReWiGo Needs our help!

You have probably heard of ReWiGo but what you may not know is what it stands for- Ready, Willing, and Going. Your HBA of Greenville Community Service Committee has guided the ReWiGo team to companies ready to help with each need- mostly during times when the Community Service Committee has been working on other projects. Now ReWiGo a non-profit helping to create safe, healthy, sustainable home environments for elderly, disabled, and impoverished people is asking for our help. Below is a current list of needs they have, if you would like to help please contact them here or contact the HBA office at 864-254-0133 for more information.  

Volunteer Opportunities

FIT Team Member (First Impression Team) - First line of contact with the homeowners. Returns calls to the homeowner from their helpline message. Enter information into a web-based form. Requires use of internet and phone.

FIT Coordinator - Recruit FIT volunteers. Meet with volunteers to train them. Help maintain organization of the team.

Site Visitors - Visit the house and get a general idea about the project. Assist homeowner in filling out application and getting signatures on required forms. Complete home checklist. Take before pictures of the house.

Delivery Person - Deliver trailer and/or supplies to the home the day before the project. Pickup trailer at the end of the project or the following day. Must have a truck with towing capability.

Site Leader - Leads a volunteer work group. Has skills and tools needed to lead a large group in building ramps or flooring projects.

Work Groups - Teams of volunteers willing and able to work on a project. Volunteers can have a variety of experience.

Follow-up - Call homeowner six months after the project to make sure everything is ok.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Habitat for Humanity- needs Director of Construction

Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County is looking for a Director of Construction. Below is the full job description. If you would like to apply please visit their website at

Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County
Director of Construction
Job Title:             Director of Construction
Reports To:         Vice President of Operations
FLSA Status:       Exempt

Summary:  Plans, directs, and oversees all aspects of the construction, repair, weatherization, and rehabilitation of homes. Ensures that all construction volunteers have a safe, productive, and positive experience. Ensures that all affiliate construction activity takes place in a safe manner. Provides leadership and direction to Construction Department staff and volunteers.
Duties & Responsibilities
Other duties may be assigned.
1.       Ensures that all affiliate construction activity takes place in a safe manner, consistent with affiliate safety policies and procedures
2.       Participates in review of affiliate safety policies and procedures
3.       Plans the execution of the annual build schedule, as set by affiliate, and tracks progress of each project
4.       Prepares sites for construction
5.       Ensures that all construction volunteers have a safe, productive, and positive experience with HFHGC
6.       Creates purchase orders for all HFHGC construction projects and utilizes QuickBooks to track all job costs
7.       Plans and coordinates effective and efficient use of construction gifts-in-kind and ensures each is communicated to Development and Finance departments
8.       Continually updates and perfects accuracy of material takeoffs  
9.       Ensures that all relevant code requirements by governing bodies are met or exceeded, including Energy Star and other applicable green building standards
10.   Ensures necessary equipment, supplies and vehicles are purchased, inventoried and maintained
11.   Ensures that homeowner orientations and first and second pre-closing homeowner walkthroughs are performed with each Partner Family and ensures that home maintenance and landscaping classes are taught effectively by Construction staff or volunteer(s)    
12.   Develops, implements, and improves as necessary the contractual procedures for HFHGC subcontractors
13.   Develops and manages the Construction Department budget
14.   Ensures compliance with housing and urban development funding source requirements
15.   Regularly solicits bids from all subcontractors and suppliers in order to maintain the best prices possible for the affiliate
16.   Ensures that all subcontractors that perform construction work for HFHGC meet standards set by policy (have necessary licenses and the required amount of liability insurance and workers comp coverage, etc.)
17.   Assists Family Services Director in addressing warranty issues and processes
18.   Follows-up with homeowners one year after move-in to follow-up on warrantable items
19.   Maintains and routinely updates HFHGC Construction Manual 
20.   Works with Finance Department in solving outstanding and disputed invoices
21.   Manages maintenance of HFHGC office and maintenance of HFHGC properties – including vacant lots, vacant houses. Ensures code violations do not take place
22.   Assesses build-ability of potential lots and assists with land acquisition, as directed
23.   Manages the inspection of homeowner insurance claims, as needed
24.   Manages the estimating, planning, and execution of repair, rehab, and weatherization projects within each project’s respective budget and on schedule  
25.   Leads in the development of new house designs, construction processes, and systems for quality control
26.   Completes necessary CEPSCI erosion control inspections (holds CEPSCI credentials or is willing and able to get certified)

Supervisory Responsibilities:
  1. Supervises the Construction Department staff, Quality Assurance Team members, Task Leaders, and all other construction volunteers
2.       All affiliate construction takes place under Director of Construction’s builder’s license
3.       Plans and supervises the purchasing of construction materials
4.       Manages and supervises subcontractors and supplier relationships

1.       Associate’s degree (A.A.) or equivalent from two-year college or technical school; or four to six years related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
2.       Must be a licensed builder in the state of South Carolina.

·         The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to fifty pounds. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit, stand, and walk. The employee is frequently required to use hands; reach with hands and arms; climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl; and talk or hear.
·         Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Habitat for Humanity is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or disability.

Member Rebate Program Adds Utility Rebates

HBA members can now receive rebates from utility providers for the homes you are building through the Member Rebate Program? The rebates are difficult to claim and always changing and time consuming. The Member Rebate Program will help you claim them.

Member Rebate has partnered with GreenOhm, a company that specializes in collecting Utility Rebates for Builders.  Participation in the program can amount to ​thousands of dollars per address.

The products below may qualify for rebates from the utility provider.
  • Windows 
  • Fireplaces 
  • Lighting
  • HVAC 
  • Geothermal HVAC
  • Thermostats 
  • Water Heater
  • Appliances: Refrigerator, Range, Clothes Washer/Dryer, Dishwashers
To learn more, please register and Member Rebate will contact you with more information and and assign a Utility Rebate Expert who will contact you, collect your rebates, and issue your check.

Shelby McCutchen

Shelby McCutchen, mother of Jamie McCutchen of CCAD Engineering, passed away Friday evening.  Services were held this week in Kingstree, SC.  She was a teacher at Williamsburg Academy.  The family has posted a photo tribute on Youtube.  The Board of Directors and staff of the Home Builders Association extend their sympathy and love to Jamie McCutchen and the McCutchen family.

Housing Markets, Including Greenville, Inch Toward Full Recovery

Markets in 59 of the approximately 350 metro areas nationwide returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic and housing activity in the third quarter of 2014, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI), released today.

This represents a year-over-year net gain of seven markets. The index’s nationwide score moved up slightly from .89 in the second quarter to .90, meaning that based on current permit, price and employment data, the nationwide average is running at 90 percent of normal economic and housing activity. Meanwhile, 66 percent of markets have shown an improvement year-over-year.

The Local Picture
According to the data, Greenville is at 91 percent of normal.  Permits continue to be the limiting factor, at just 59 percent of normal.  Housing prices are a 119 percent of normal, an indication that supply is not meeting demand and a house-price bubble may be forming.  Meanwhile jobs are at 94 percent of normal.  Greenville is ranked 121 among the 359 housing markets in the country based on the data in the report.

Two other markets in South Carolina are at or above normal: Charleston, at 100 percent, and Sumter, at 104 percent.  Myrtle Beach is near normal at 98 percent.  Florence (89 percent), Columbia (87 percent) and Spartanburg (85) percent round out South Carolina's housing markets.

The National Picture
“The markets are recovering at a slow, gradual pace,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. “Continued job creation, economic growth and increasing consumer confidence should help spur pent-up demand for housing.”

Baton Rouge, La., continues to top the list of major metros on the LMI, with a score of 1.39 – or 39 percent better than its last normal market level. Other major metros leading the list include Austin, Texas; Honolulu; Oklahoma City and Houston. Rounding out the top 10 are Los Angeles; San Jose, Calif.; Salt Lake City; New Orleans and Charleston, S.C. — all of whose LMI scores indicate that their market activity now equals or exceeds previous norms.

“An uptick in the number of single-family permits, which is currently only 44 percent of normal activity, is the key to a full-fledged housing recovery,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “In the 17 metros where permits are at or above normal, the overall index shows that these markets have fully recovered.”

“Nearly half of all the markets on the Leading Markets Index are up since August, which is a good sign that the ongoing housing recovery will keep moving forward in 2015,” said Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman of First American Title Insurance Company, which co-sponsors the LMI report.

Looking at smaller metros, both Midland and Odessa, Texas, boast LMI scores of 2.0 or better, meaning their markets are now at double their strength prior to the recession. Also leading the list of smaller metros are Grand Forks, N.D; Bismarck, N.D.; and Casper, Wyo., respectively.

The LMI shifts the focus from identifying markets that have recently begun to recover, which was the aim of a previous gauge known as the Improving Markets Index, to identifying those areas that are now approaching and exceeding their previous normal levels of economic and housing activity. More than 350 metro areas are scored by taking their average permit, price and employment levels for the past 12 months and dividing each by their annual average over the last period of normal growth. For single-family permits and home prices, 2000-2003 is used as the last normal period, and for employment, 2007 is the base comparison. The three components are then averaged to provide an overall score for each market; a national score is calculated based on national measures of the three metrics. An index value above one indicates that a market has advanced beyond its previous normal level of economic activity. Editor’s Note: In calculating the LMI, NAHB utilizes employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, house price appreciation data from Freddie Mac and single-family housing permits from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The LMI is published quarterly on the fourth working day of the month, unless that day falls on a Friday -- in which case, it is released on the following Monday. For historical information and charts, please go to

SC Attorney General Alan Wilson speaks out against new EPA stormwater rules

S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson spoke out recently in an editorial opposing proposed new regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers that would expand significantly the federal government's control over private property.

Labeled as Waters of the US, the regulation would expand federal jurisdiction of our country's waters from legislatively-approved "navigable waters" to virtually any roadside or farm ditch.

"Studies show that for every $1,000 increase in the cost of home ownership, 650 Americans are priced out of the American dream of owning a home," Wilson wrote. "This is the latest example of the new norm in Washington: unprecedented overreach by unelected bureaucrats who circumvent the legislative process by attempting to regulate what Congress is unwilling or unable to legislate. Whenever regulation increases, personal freedom decreases. These regulations carry great costs to the freedoms and finances of all Americans."

Read the full article in the Daily Caller by clicking here.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

New Remodeler 20 Club is Being Formed

Are you an Approved Professional Remodeler?  Have you thought it would be helpful to network with other remodelers that are not competitors and learn more about how other professionals run their companies?

The 20 Club program is forming the first new Remodeler 20 Club since 2006. It will be the second remodelers’ club established in the program’s 20-year history.

A two-day meeting focused on the club’s formation will be held at NAHB headquarters in Washington, D.C. later this year. A working agenda for the new club includes team building exercises and discussions like sales and marketing, customer service, company financials, and presentations from some of the most knowledgeable and well respected consultants in the construction industry.

The remodelers who are forming the new club are excited about being able to exchange ideas and best practices with their peers – a dynamic often referred to among existing 20 Club members as their own personal “board of directors.”

Statistics show that this high level of interaction and connectivity with peers helps 20 Club members double their net profits by the third year of membership.

Knowing that help for any situation is just an email or phone call away is one of the greatest benefits of being a member of a 20 Club. For more information on how you can join the club, visit

Monday, November 3, 2014

BBB honors Arthur Rutenberg Homes with 2014 Business of Integrity Award

Bruce Pasquarella, APB
The Better Business Bureau® of the Upstate, a private, non-profit organization serving the 10-county Upstate area, awarded American Eagle Builders/Arthur Rutenberg Homes for Marketplace Ethics, 1-10 employees/Local Affiliate/Franchise of Regional/National Co. with the 2014 Business of Integrity Award during a ceremony on Thursday, October 30.

Owner of American Eagle Builders/Arthur Rutenberg Homes, Bruce Pasquarella, APB, was the 2009 President of the Home Builders Association of Greenville.  American Eagle Builders/Arthur Rutenberg Homes is an Approved Professional Builder.

The Business of Integrity Awards recognize outstanding businesses for their commitment to exceptional marketplace standards that benefit their consumers, employees, suppliers, industry peers and the communities in which they do business and serve.

All for-profit businesses in the Upstate were eligible to enter the Business of Integrity Award and could apply in the following categories: marketplace ethics, customer service and community service. BBB honored a total of seven companies in the Upstate with the Business of Integrity Award and awarded six Upstate area high school students with the Student of Integrity scholarships.

”American Eagle Builders/Arthur Rutenberg Homes has demonstrated high ethical standards of behavior towards customers, vendors and employees and has an established history of strong ethics in the workplace,” said Vee Daniel, president/CEO, Better Business Bureau of the Upstate. “By displaying marketing and advertising strategies that reflect a true representation of the product, American Eagle Builders/Arthur Rutenberg Homes has also been recognized by the community and their industry for sound business practices.”

As a local recipient of the 2014 Business of Integrity Award, American Eagle Builders/Arthur Rutenberg Homes is eligible to enter the Council of Better Business Bureau, Inc. ‘s, 2015 National Torch Award.