Thursday, August 11, 2016

A Letter from Michael Dey on the Environmental Protection Agency

HBA of Greenville Members:

I received word today that the EPA is in the Greenville area conducting audits of compliance with the Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting program, commonly called the Lead Paint Rule. The EPA has requested compliance records from at least one remodeler member of your Home Builders Association.

As a reminder, contractors working on homes built prior to 1978 are required to be certified by the EPA and required to follow the guidelines for testing for the presence of lead paint and mitigating exposure when lead paint is present. In addition, the contractor is required to keep meticulous records of their compliance with the rule. A complete explanation of the rule can be found at this link:

Failure to comply with this rule can include very expensive fines.

If you have any questions, please contact me.

Michael Dey, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Need Employees?

YouthBuild Greenville will host a job fair where potential employees have booths that employers can visit to gather resumes and learn more.
September 8, 2016
45 E. Main Street
Greenville, SC 29611
1:30 pm-3:30 pm

Instead of employers setting up booths and jobseekers circulating among the booths, jobseekers sit at tables with a stack of their resumes while employers circulate. The benefits are:
  • Less of a financial and logistical burden on employers.
  • Jobseekers are made to market themselves to the potential employer versus the tradition of employers marketing themselves to the jobseeker.
  • Past Job Fair employers and jobseekers have reported that this type of event is more relaxed and is conducive to more meaningful conversation.

YouthBuild Greenville is a program that is combining GED instruction, Construction Training, work experience, long-term case management, leadership development, and placement/retention services all in the Woodside community. YouthBuild students assisted with a Habitat for Humanity Build and completed several construction-based community service projects.

For more information or to RSVP contact Ashley Mayfield, YouthBuild Case Manager at

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

More Slab Foundations, Two-Story Homes Still Dominate

 Information obtained from the public-use microdata files provided by the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction and tabulated by the National Association of Home Builders, shows that there is a greater share of two or more story homes completed than one story homes. In addition, the greatest share of two or more story homes are in divisions along the coasts of the country. Analysis of the data shows that the Northeast region has a significantly higher proportion of two or more story single-family home completions compared to its counterparts across the country. Similarly, the Pacific Division, a component of the West Region, also has a noticeably higher proportion of two or more story homes completed.

The Survey of Construction is a monthly and annual report released by the US Census Bureau that records valuable information related to the home building industry. This information includes variables such as start and completion dates, sales price, square footage and number of bedrooms. Survey of Construction data is used by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to evaluate housing programs as well as by the Federal Reserve Board to determine the state of the economy as a whole.

Nationwide, the majority of single-family homes completed in 2015 were two or more stories, 58%, the rest, 42%, were one story. The data show that the Northeast has the largest proportion of completed two or more story single-family homes. The distributions between one story and two or more story completed homes are similar in the South and the West. In the South, 57% of completed single-family homes were two or more stories and 43% were one story while in the West, 59% of completed single-family homes were two or more stories and the rest, 41%, were one story. The Midwest was the only region of the country where the majority of single-family completed homes were one story.

In contrast to the nationwide distribution between one story and two or more story completed homes, arecent National Association of Home Builders report chronicling consumers’ housing preferences finds that most, 64% of all buyers, would prefer a single-story home, however it is important to point out that this result is driven primarily by older buyers that may be exhibiting a preference for single-story homes due to aging-in-place concerns. According to National Association of Home Builders' Housing Preferences of the Boomer Generation, 75% of boomers and 88% of seniors want one floor living, but fewer than half of millennials, 35%, and generation X’ers, 49%, prefer a one story home.

Looking deeper, the similarities between the West and the South mask differences between the Census divisions that compose each region. While overall, 59% of single-family completed homes in the West were two or more stories, 69% were two or more stories in the Pacific Division while fewer than half, 47% were two or more stories in the Mountain Division. Similarly, while 57% of single-family completed homes were two or more stories across the entire South region, 66% of completed homes in the South Atlantic were two or more stories. In contrast, fewer than half of completed homes in the West South Central division were two or more stories. In the East South Central 58% of homes were two or more stories.

The map below illustrates how two or more story homes account for the largest portion of completed homes in coastal divisions of the country, New England, Middle Atlantic, South Atlantic, and Pacific. The high share of two or more story completed homes in the Northeast, encompassing the New England and Middle Atlantic divisions, may partly reflect expensive lot values. Recent National Association of Home Builders analysis found that median lot values in the New England and Middle Atlantic divisions far surpasses lot values elsewhere in the country. At the same time higher density and land constraints may also have contributed to a higher proportion of two or more story homes across coastal divisions.

Monday, August 8, 2016

2016 U.S. Houzz & Home Report

Houzz economists recently released the annual U.S. Houzz & Home Report, the largest home building and remodeling survey in the world. Over 120,000 respondents in the United States provided information on their design and renovation projects in 2015 and their upcoming plans in 2016.

Some of the questions asked in the survey:
  • What is driving renovation activity?
  • How much has kitchen and bathroom renovation spending grown?
  • What is the impact of home buying and selling on renovation budgets?
  • How do millennial design preferences differ from those of baby boomers?
  • What are the top projects of 2015?

Download the report and view a recording of a recent webinar with Houzz Principal Economist Nino Sitchiniva for more insight.

Houzz also just released the findings from its Q2 2016 Renovation Barometer, which tracks confidence in the home renovation market. More than 5,000 home builders, architects, designers, contractors, landscape professionals, and other industry pros participated. Its findings:
  • Quarter-Over-Quarter Uptick. High readings reflect widespread industry confidence in quarter-over-quarter market gains. The outlook for the third quarter continues to point toward positive growth in all sectors.
  • Year-Over-Year Growth Slows in Design-Related Sectors. The barometer posted high year-over-year readings in the second quarter. However, these scores decreased slightly from the first quarter for five of the six industry groups surveyed. Despite business growth, the overall confidence of design-related industry groups has declined four quarters in a row.
  • Changes in Client, Project Mix Drive Increase in Business Activity. Half or more of firms across all industry groups report that activity of home owners ages 35-54 has increased year-to-date relative to the same period last year. Projects from boomers are also on the rise. Additionally, many firms report that more clients are purchasing high-end products, tackling multiple projects at a time, and/or are taking on more kitchen and bathroom renovations.