by Judie Docs, Executive Officer, North Coast BIA, CSP, MCSP, CGP, CMP, MIRM
It is that time of year, when myself and many of our members attend the International Builders’ Show. An optimistic home building industry filled the exhibit halls of Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center as the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) hosted one of the largest turnouts in recent years at the NAHB International Builders’ Show® (IBS) Jan. 9-11.
Home building professionals from around the world attended this year’s IBS—the biggest component of the annual Design & Construction Week®, which also includes the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS). The combined events drew more than 85,000 attendees. Of that total, about 60,000 were IBS registrants.
“Each and every year, a tremendous amount of work goes into making IBS an extremely valuable, can’t-miss event for anyone in residential construction,” said Geoff Cassidy, NAHB senior vice president of exhibitions and meetings. “And once again, the show was an incredible success with a palpable enthusiasm reflective of the momentum in the home building industry.”
Exhibit space for IBS also expanded from last year’s 569,000 square feet to this year’s 583,000 square feet, where more than 1,500 exhibitors displayed the latest in building products and technology. Many of the exhibitors noted the increased foot traffic this year.
The show is back, and exhibitors were extremely busy all week. People are eager to know what’s new, from entry-level and do-it-yourself, to higher price point homes.
In addition to meeting suppliers and seeing product demos throughout the three-day show, attendees networked with peers and attended any of more than 140 education sessions led by industry experts on a wide range of industry topics.
One of the sessions included an economic panel which predicts housing will continue to gain ground in 2018. The newly-enacted tax law will create a more favorable tax climate for the business community, which should spur job and economic growth and keep single-family housing production on a gradual upward trajectory in 2018, according to economists speaking at the NAHB International Builders’ Show® in Orlando, Fla., today.
They expect that “tax reform will boost GDP growth to 2.6 percent in 2018, and this added economic activity will also bode well for housing, although there will be some transition effects in high-tax jurisdictions,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Ongoing job creation, expected wage increases and tight existing home inventory will also boost the housing market in the year ahead.”
However, builders will continue to deal with ongoing supply-side headwinds this year that will dampen more robust growth. These factors include an increasing number of unfilled construction jobs, a shortage of buildable lots and a slow growth in acquisition, development and construction loan activity that is failing to keep pace with rising demand.
In addition, regulatory costs stemming from building codes, land use, environmental and other rules have jumped 29 percent in the past five years, and this has had a significant impact on housing affordability. The ongoing U.S.-Canada softwood lumber trade dispute is further exacerbating the situation, as the price of softwood lumber has increased 20 percent from a year ago.
As the economy continues to strengthen, NAHB expects 30-year fixed-rate mortgages will average 4.31 percent in 2018 and 4.82 percent in 2019.
NAHB is projecting 1.21 million total housing starts in 2017 and expects overall production to grow an additional 2.7 percent this year to 1.25 million units.
Single-family starts are expected to rise 5 percent in 2018 to 893,000 units and increase an additional 5 percent to 940,000 next year.
Setting the 2000-2003 period as a benchmark for normal single-family housing activity when single-family production averaged 1.3 million units annually, single-family starts are expected to gradually rise from 63 percent of what is considered a typical market in the third quarter of 2017 to 73 percent of normal by the fourth quarter of 2019.
On the multifamily side, NAHB is expecting multifamily starts to edge 1.6 percent lower this year to 354,000 units from a projected 360,000 total in 2017. This is a sustainable level due to demographics and the balance between supply and demand.
Meanwhile home remodeling is posting strong market conditions, due in part to strong demand in the wake of the terrible hurricane and wildfire season in 2017. Residential remodeling activity is expected to register a 7 percent gain in 2018 over last year.
Save the Date!!!!!
NCBIA Home & Remodeling Show
Saturday, February 17, 2018 – 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Emerald Events Center, 33040 Just Imagine Drive, Avon
See exhibits and displays featuring new home builders, remodelers, banking, mortgage lending, windows, doors, roofing, siding, painting, flooring, landscaping, cabinets, countertops and much more!
Visit our website – ncbia.com for a list of our members, as well as our new For Consumer section and job posting (under the About Us tab), and be sure to visit our Virtual Parade of Homes. Or, give us a call Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 440-934-1090.
We are your local not-for-profit trade association representing member companies involved in all aspects of home building, remodeling, and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. Like us on Facebook – – or better yet share us.
Homeownership is truly a cornerstone of the American way of life. North Coast Building Industry – Come Build with Us!