Friday, July 29, 2016

Thank You PAC Donors

Thank you to our South Carolina Builders Political Action Committee donors for helping to improve and preserve our industry. Take a look at the bills the PAC has supported or fought in an effort to protect the housing industry.

Free Greenbuild Expo Pass for HBA of Greenville Members

Home Builders Association of Greenville members can register for the annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo — which takes place Oct. 5-7, 2016 in Los Angeles — and be eligible for a free pass to the show floor on Oct. 5 and 6.

That’s normally a $100 ticket, but because of the Top Tier Partner status the National Association of Home Builders has arranged, it’s a free member benefit this year.

This year’s show features the KB Home ProjecKT, focused on affordable high-tech design, and other events and exhibits that appeal to residential builders, a growing focus of the annual green show.

To take advantage of the member discount, register using this portal. Early-bird registration for the full conference, which includes education sessions, ends Aug. 1.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

FHFA Indices Show Little Movement in Interest Rates

From the Federal Housing Finance Agency:

Nationally, interest rates on conventional purchase-money mortgages were nearly flat from May to June, according to several indices of new mortgage contracts.

The National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders Index was 3.69 percent for loans closed in late June, down 1 basis point from 3.70 percent in May.

The average interest rate on all mortgage loans was 3.70 percent, unchanged from May.

The average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages of $417,000 or less was 3.88 percent, down 1 basis point from 3.89 in May.

The effective interest rate on all mortgage loans was 3.83 percent in June, unchanged from May. The effective interest rate accounts for the addition of initial fees and charges over the life of the mortgage.

The average loan amount for all loans was $333,900 in June, up $4,400 from $329,500 in May.

Federal Housing Finance Agency will release July index values Tuesday, August 30, 2016.

For more information, call David Roderer at (202) 649-3206. To hear recorded index information, call (202) 649-3993. To find the complete contract rate series, go to

Technical note: The indices are based on a small monthly survey of mortgage lenders, which may not be representative. The sample is not a statistical sample but is rather a convenience sample. Survey respondents were asked to report terms and conditions of all conventional, single-family, fully amortized purchase-money loans closed during the last five working days of the month. Unless otherwise specified, the indices include 15-year mortgages and adjustable-rate mortgages. The indices do not include mortgages guaranteed or insured by either the Federal Housing Administration or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The indices also exclude refinancing loans and balloon loans. June 2016 values are based on 6,487 reported loans from 16 lenders, which include savings associations, mortgage companies, commercial banks, and mutual savings banks.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

PWB Education Event Was a Hit

The Professional Women in Building Council hosted its first education event last Friday, July 22nd at Progress Lighting. Nationally renowned speaker Deb Sofield spoke to the group on improving speaking skills, personal presentation in a business setting, and moving forward in life with her "15 Rules for the Road." The event was sponsored by Pestban and presented by Ryan Homes and DHI Mortgage.
Attendees enjoy breakfast and networking before Deb's presentation.
Title sponsor Brian Harrison of Pestban address the group with PWB Chairwoman Brittany Bailey of Ryan Homes.

PWB Board member Renata Caldwell of Progress Lighting with speaker Deb Sofield.

Deb giving her presentation.

Thank you, Deb!

Lots in 2015 are Smallest on Record

The median lot size of a new single-family detached home sold in 2015 dropped under 8,600 square feet for the first time since Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction started tracking the series.

An acre is 43,560 square feet, so the current median lot size is just under one-fifth of an acre. In 2014, Paul Emrath used a football field analogy to help visualize the median lot size that proved to be very popular. So using a football field as a measuring stick, 5.6 median lots would fit between the goal lines of a football field in 2015.

While nation’s lots are getting smaller on average, the regional differences in lot sizes persist. Looking at single-family (attached and detached) speculatively built (or spec) homes started in 2015, the median lot size in New England exceeds half an acre. This is 2.6 times larger than the national median lot.

New England is known for strict local zoning regulations that often require very low densities. Therefore, it is not surprising that more than half of single-family spec homes started in New England are built on some of the largest lots in the nation, with more than half of the lots exceeding half an acre.

The East South Central Division comes as a distant second with the median lot occupying less than a third of an acre. The Pacific division where densities are high and developed land is scarce has the smallest lots, with half of the lots being under 0.15 acres. The neighboring Mountain and West South Central Divisions also report typical lots smaller than a national median, 0.17 and 0.16 acres, respectively.

The analysis above was limited to single-family speculatively built homes. Custom homes built on owner’s land with either the owner or a builder acting as the general contractor do not involve the work of a professional land developer subdividing a property. Therefore, in case of custom homes, lots refer to owner’s land area rather than lots in conventional sense. Nevertheless, the SOC reports lot sizes for custom homes and shows that they tend to have larger lots. The median lot size for custom single-family homes started in 2015 was exactly one acre.

For this analysis, the median lot size was chosen over average since averages tend to be heavily influenced by extreme outliers. In addition, the Census Bureau often masks extreme lot sizes and values on the public use Survey of Construction dataset making it difficult to calculate averages precisely but medians remain unaffected by these procedures.

Learn How to Use Houzz at Houzz University August 18th

Houzz is a social media platform designed for consumers who want to build or remodel their home by bringing all of the experts in the industry together in one place. It allows builders, designers, realtors, etc. to reach potential clients by digitizing their portfolio, allowing for consumer and colleague reviews, and answering questions directly related to past or current projects.

Your Home Builders Association of Greenville has a partnership with Houzz that allows members access to special programs, and to verify their membership with the Home Builders Association of Greenville as well as the National Association of Home Builders on their Houzz profile.

If all of this sounds like gibberish to you, then you should strongly consider attending our Houzz University class on August 18th, where a Houzz professional will help you set up your profile. On the other hand, if you have a Houzz page already and want to learn how to improve it, you should attend the second class, Houzz Tips, Tricks, and Trends.

Program Details
August 18th, 2016 at the Home Builders Association of Greenville office. The classes will be taught by a Houzz agent and sponsored by the Approved Professional Builder program. Pricing will be as follows: $13 for PWB and SMC Council members, $19 for HBA members, $25 for nonmembers.

7:30-9 a.m. - Houzz University, includes breakfast

9:30-10:30 a.m. - Houzz Tips, Tricks, and Trends, includes breakfast

11:30-1 p.m. - Houzz University, includes lunch