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2018 Could Bring More of the Same: Tight Labor and Costly Materials

Posted by on Dec 18, 2017 in News

2018 Could Bring More of the Same: Tight Labor and Costly Materials Filed in Economics by NAHB Now on December 14, 2017 •  In the bi-weekly newsletter Eye on the Economy, NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz provided the following overview: After a mild 2016, economic growth gained momentum in 2017. New jobs continue to be produced and unemployment (4.1%) is low. While this is positive news for housing demand, the unceasingly tight labor market conditions mean increased competition among employers for a smaller number of available workers. This is one of the reasons the construction industry continues to see an elevated number of open jobs: 227,000 in October, near a post-recession high. It also implies additional wage growth in the year ahead. Builders can also expect continued growth in the cost of building materials. Since the beginning of the year, OSB prices have jumped 30%, softwood lumber prices are up almost 15% and gypsum prices have increased almost 8%. Additional building material supply is needed as the home building sector grows. However, duties imposed on Canadian softwood lumber of almost 21% accomplish the opposite of what the industry and home buyers need. NAHB estimates that the tariff on lumber imports alone is responsible for a nearly 7% price increase and has already driven up the price of a new home by an average of...

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IHA Meeting Focuses on Housing Affordability

Posted by on Dec 18, 2017 in News

IHA Meeting Focuses on Housing Affordability Filed in Construction Industry, Global Housing by NAHB Now on December 15, 2017 •  Japanese minister Keiichi Ishii of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism welcomes IHA meeting attendees. Housing affordability continues to be a priority for housing experts not just in the United States, but worldwide, said participants at the 2017 Interim Meeting of the International Housing Association (IHA). NAHB representatives joined economists, builders and researchers from 11 countries for the mid-November meeting, held this year in Tokyo, one of the IHBA member countries. The meeting also featured the launch of the  IHA Housing Continuum, a working diagram and terminology guide to common housing supply system elements, including types of housing units and programming, including both social- and market-based. This common “language” has been designed to help association members work together more efficiently. “The IHA is actively engaged in addressing housing affordability challenges faced by member countries around the world, including the social housing challenges facing those most in need. By establishing the official IHA Housing Continuum, we are providing a common lexicon as a key tool to facilitate discussions, enhance collaboration and accelerate the finding of the right solutions for the varying situations around the world,” said Kevin Lee, chairman of IHA and the Canadian Home Builders’ Association. The IHA also reiterated its support for a working group to support the housing needs of developing countries and bring heightened awareness of these needs to its member countries and across the world. “By working together, we will be able to share ideas and best practices from around the world that have worked in other countries, to better assist developing countries that may have similar challenges,” Lee said. For over 30 years, IHA has provided a unique housing policy and solutions forum. IHA’s growing membership includes nations from six continents. NAHB serves as the Secretariat of IHA. To learn more about the IHA, contact Giuliana Nava-Cord at 800-368-5242...

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