FHFA Boosts Conforming Loan Limits for 2022


The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today announced that the maximum baseline conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2022 will rise to $647,200 — an increase of $98,950 from $548,250 in 2021.

FHFA Boosts Conforming Loan Limits for 20222021-11-30T13:22:32-06:00

Advertising Guidelines for Age-Restricted Communities Under the FHA


A recent 55+ Housing Industry Council Shop Talk discussion focused on how the familial status protected class and the HOPA exemption affect advertising for age-restricted communities following a 2019 case against Facebook regarding its targeting practices.

Advertising Guidelines for Age-Restricted Communities Under the FHA2021-11-30T09:21:05-06:00

Last Chance to Apply for 2022 Best of IBS Awards


This Friday, Dec. 3, is the last chance to apply for an opportunity to be showcased on stage at the 2022 NAHB International Builders’ Show® (IBS) — the premier residential construction industry event.

Last Chance to Apply for 2022 Best of IBS Awards2021-11-29T13:22:16-06:00

9 Factors to Consider When Choosing Construction Management Software


If you're a custom home builder or remodeler, construction management software is necessary to help you save time, win more work and maximize profits. Here are nine factors to consider when searching for the right construction management software solution or assessing your current one.

9 Factors to Consider When Choosing Construction Management Software2021-11-29T11:20:31-06:00

The House That SHE Built Sold in Utah


The House That SHE Built, a new home in Saratoga Springs, Utah designed and built by an all-female crew, recently sold. Much of the proceeds from the sale will be going to advance efforts to get more women in construction, thanks to the work of many volunteers and sponsors.

The House That SHE Built Sold in Utah2021-11-29T07:15:13-06:00

Can You Get Festive With Your Staging?


Cleaning out the clutter and staging your home help make a great first impression. But does that mean you should forego the decorations if you are selling during the holidays? You don’t have to. However, here are four things to keep in mind to not inadvertently turn off buyers. Emphasize the Positives Use holiday décor to draw attention to, not overshadow, your home’s best features. For example, add garland on your mantel to highlight your fireplace, or showcase the entertaining qualities of the large dining room by setting the table for a holiday meal. Avoid Clashing Colors Bold is not better. Choose decorations with colors that complement your current design palette. Use Scents Sparingly Evoking the seasonal spirit with sprigs of spruce or simmering a pot of apples and cinnamon is fine, but don’t go overboard. Too many strong scents can be off-putting. Create Curb Appeal The less-is-more rule applies outside as well. Swap out flashy lights and inflatable décor with a simple string of white lights and a fresh wreath on the front door for an inviting welcome feel. When in doubt, ask your REALTOR® for staging suggestions or a recommendation of a professional home stager in your area.

Can You Get Festive With Your Staging?2021-11-23T01:15:32-06:00

Construction Loans Slightly More Available, But at Higher Rates


In the third quarter of 2021, effective interest rates increased on all four categories of loans tracked in NAHB’s Survey on Acquisition, Development & Construction (AD&C).  This result reverses a general downward trend that had prevailed since the third quarter of last year.  In the third quarter of 2021, the average effective rate (based on  rate of return to the lender over the assumed life of the loan taking both the contract interest rate and initial fee into account) increased from 6.15 in the second quarter of 2021 to 6.50 percent in the third quarter of 2021 on loans for land acquisition, from 7.15 to 8.33 percent on loans for land development, from 8.09 to 8.55 percent on loans for pre-sold single-family construction, and from 7.40 to 8.37 percent on loans for speculative single-family construction. Changes in the effective rate may be due to changes in either the contract interest rate, or in the initial points charged on the loan.  On three categories of AD&C loans, the average contract rate and average points both increased in the third quarter.  On land acquisition loans, the contract rate increased from 4.63 to 4.74 percent while the initial points increased from 0.69 to 0.88.  On development loans, the contract rate increased from 4.63 to 4.74 percent while the points increased from 0.64 to 0.89.  And on loans for pre-sold single-family construction, the contract rate increased from 4.32 to 4.49 percent while the points increased from 0.54 to 0.77.  On the remaining category of AD&C loans (for speculative single-family construction) a reduction in the average contract rate—from 4.94 to 4.85 percent—was more than offset by a substantial increase in the initial points charged—from 0.66 to 0.87 percent. The NAHB survey also produces a net easing index that summarizes the change in credit conditions on AD&C loans, similar to the net easing index constructed from the Federal Reserve’s survey of senior loan officers (SLOOS).  In the third quarter of 2021, the NAHB and Fed indices were in close agreement with each other, both indicating a modest easing of credit.  The NAHB index stood at 11.0 while the Fed index was 9.4.  These results are quite similar to those from the second quarter, when the NAHB index was 9.7 and the Fed index was 7.0. The NAHB net easing index uses information from questions that ask builders and developers if availability of credit has gotten better, worse, or stayed the same since the previous quarter.  In the third quarter of 2021, 13 percent of the NAHB builders said availability of credit for land acquisition had gotten better, compared to 6 percent who said it had gotten worse.  For land development, 14 percent said credit conditions improved, compared to 7 percent who said it had gotten worse.  Finally, 21 percent of builders reported that the availability of credit for single-family construction had improved, compared to only two percent who said it had gotten worse. Availability and rates on loans for residential development are of particular interest in the current environment, where home builders are experiencing record shortages of buildable lots. Related ‹ Gains for Custom Home BuildingTags: ad&c lending, ad&c loans, ADC, construciton loans, construction lending, credit conditions, economics, home building, housing, interest rates, lending, single-family

Construction Loans Slightly More Available, But at Higher Rates2021-11-19T11:18:51-06:00

Gains for Custom Home Building


By Robert Dietz on November 19, 2021 • NAHB’s analysis of Census Data from the Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design survey indicates custom home building matched the best quarter for construction starts since the spring of 2008 during the third quarter of 2021. There were 56,000 total custom building starts during the third quarter of the year. This marks a 5.7% gain from the third quarter of 2020. Over the last four quarters, custom housing starts totaled 190,000 units, an 8% gain from the prior four-quarter total. Despite these gains, the market share for custom home building has declined as other forms of home building have expanded more rapidly. As measured on a one-year moving average, the market share of custom home building, in terms of total single-family starts, held steady at 16.6%. This is down from a cycle high of 31.5% set during the second quarter of 2009. Note that this definition of custom home building does not include homes intended for sale, so the analysis in this post uses a narrow definition of the sector. Related ‹ Multifamily Missing Middle Production LagsTags: custom, custom building, custom home building, home building, housing, single-family

Gains for Custom Home Building2021-11-19T08:16:36-06:00

Sentiment on Multifamily Production and Occupancy Improves in the Third Quarter


Sentiment on the production of new and occupancy in existing multifamily housing improved in the third quarter, according to the latest results from NAHB’s Multifamily Market Survey (MMS).  The MMS produces two main indices.  The Multifamily Production Index (MPI) increased five points from the previous quarter to 53, while the Multifamily Occupancy Index (MOI) also increased by five points, to 75.  That’s the highest reading for the MOI since its inception in 2003. The MPI is a weighted average of three component indices measuring developer sentiment about production in different segments of the multifamily market: low-rent apartments supported by low-income tax credits or other government subsidy programs; market-rate rental apartments built to be rented at an unsubsidized market-clearing price; and for-sale units (i.e., multifamily condominiums).  Each component index lies on a scale on of 0 to 100, where a number above 50 indicates that more respondents report conditions are improving than report conditions are getting worse.  All three MPI component indices increased in the third quarter.  The component for low-rent apartments increased six points to 55, the component for market rate rental units rose nine points to 60; and the condo component posted a two-point gain to 47. Similarly, the MOI measures the multifamily housing industry’s sentiment on occupancy in existing apartments.  The MOI is also a weighted average of three components: for occupancy in class A, B, and C apartments.  Again, each component index lies on a scale from 0 to 100, with a break-even point at 50, where numbers above 50 indicate rising occupancy.  Two of the MOI’s components increased in the third quarter.  The index for occupancy in class A apartments increased 8 points to 77, while the index for class B apartments increased 4 points to 75.  Although the index for class C apartments declined by 3 points, to 70, all three component indices remain well above the break-even point of 50.  Moreover, as noted above, the current MOI of 75 is the highest the overall occupancy index has been since its inception. Strong demand and limited inventory of all types of housing are keeping occupancy strong in multifamily properties across the country.  The same factors are supporting production of new multifamily properties, although developers continue to deal with very significant supply-side challenges, like finding enough labor, materials and land to build on. The record-level MOI is consistent with the strong multifamily occupancy rates reported by the Census Bureau, which are now higher than they’ve been since the 1980s.  And an MPI back above 50 is consistent with multifamily housing starts, which have been running at a 460,000-plus annualized rate through the first three quarters of 2021—which should make 2021 the strongest year for multifamily production since the tax policy-driven surge of the 1980s.  As the economy continues to reopen, housing demand is rising in higher density markets, supporting both multifamily occupancy and production. For complete results from the Multifamily Market Survey, including the history of each index and its components back to the survey’s inception in 2003, please visit NAHB’s MMS web page. Related ‹ Year-over-Year Gains for Townhouse ConstructionTags: MMS, MOI, mpi, multifamily, multifamily market, multifamily market survey, multifamily occupancy index, multifamily production index, occupancy

Sentiment on Multifamily Production and Occupancy Improves in the Third Quarter2021-11-18T10:24:39-06:00

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