How the Fed Rate Hike Affects Housing
Housing affordability last quarter was at a 10-year low, and it appears that conditions at the start of 2019 aren’t likely to improve much.
The Federal Open Market Commit- tee recently raised its target for the federal funds rate (the interest rate at which banks lend money to each other) by 25 basis points. This was the fourth rate hike of 2018. However, experts predict interest rates will rise at a less aggressive pace next year.
NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz noted in a recent Eye on Housing blog post that the Fed’s “policy projections suggest two rate increases in 2019 and one additional rate increase in 2020.” Nevertheless, NAHB is forecasting no rate hikes in 2020, after what some, including Dietz, anticipate will be a noticeable slowdown in GDP growth in 2019.
Mortgage interest rates, however, are likely to stay the course for the time being, after a decline in December. The 10-year Treasury rate, which is the key variable for mortgage interest rates, declined recently to below 2.77%. A lower 10-year rate typically means lower mortgage interest rates.
Jim Marzullo-Vice President
Michael Menn-Past President
Pat Cardoni-City Chapter President
Matthias A Jans Jr.
Michael P. Freiburger
Trump Advances Opportunity Zones
Nissan North America and NAHB are excited to present members, their employees and HBA staff with the opportunity to purchase a new Nissan or Infiniti vehicle using exclusive incentives for members through the NAHB Savings Program.
Click here to learn how to take advantage of this great member savings benefit.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) on Dec. 14 published a final rule that streamlines the home warranty require- ments for FHA single- family mortgage insurance.
The rule eliminates the regulations that require borrowers to purchase 10-year protection plans in order to qualify for certain mortgages on newly- constructed single-family homes.
This final rule becomes effective March 14, 2019.
Save Money on Nissan or Infinity
NAHB Recognized for Lobbying Clout
“The Hill,” a prominent Capitol Hill publication, recently named NAHB CEO Jerry Howard to its list of elite Washington power players. Although “The Hill” highlighted one person from each organization listed, Howard noted that his inclusion represents the hard work of many individuals.
“The fact that NAHB is recognized as one of the most power- ful trade groups is a testament to the shared efforts of our members; the NAHB staff, most notably Chief Lobbyist Jim Tobin and his government affairs team; EOs; councils and all those who work on behalf of the association to keep housing at the forefront of the national agenda,” Howard said.
The Trump administration in December released its proposed new definition for “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) that will resolve years of uncertainty over where federal jurisdiction begins and ends. This represents an important victory for NAHB members.
Under the proposed rule, short-lived ponds, streams and tributaries that only flow in response to a rain event would be excluded from federal regulation. The rule would also exclude wetlands not directly connected to federally- regulated bodies of water.
The action honored a campaign promise President Trump made to the NAHB Board of Directors in 2016 when he was running for office.
The new rule announced today will be open to a public comment period for 60 days and it is expected to be finalized and instituted in all 50 states by the fall of 2019.
EPA Proposes New WOTUS Definition
Could Be a $2.5 Billion Tax
Could Be a $2.5 Billion Tax Court
FHA Publishes New Home Warranty Rule
President Trump on Dec. 12 signed an executive order to spur more investment in opportunity zones, a type of economic development incentive created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
Opportunity zones seek to incentivize investment and economic development in under-served communities. Developers may use a Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund to help fund projects located within an oppor- tunity zone. This new source of investment dollars could prove to be a powerful economic tool if properly administered.
Congress on Dec. 12 passed the 2018 farm bill that includes key NAHB-supported for- estry provisions from Rep. Bruce Wester- man’s (R-Ark.) forestry bill to implement critical forest management reforms that will help improve the health of the nation’s forest system and reduce America’s reliance on foreign sources of timber.
The bill would also increase funding for the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program to empower rural communities to restore effective forest management and improve forest health. It also contains several provisions in the Timber Innovation Act that will support the development of timber products for building construction.
NAHB fought hard to ensure the farm bill contains a forestry title in order to increase the supply of domestically produced timber from federal lands.
Employers Must Use New I-9 Form
Survey Finds Most Americans See Affordability Crisis
NAHB's Meeting of the Members
Make plans to attend NAHB’s annual Meeting of the Members, 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the Westgate Hotel in Las Vegas during the International Builders’ Show.
This meeting provides NAHB members an insider’s view of the association's advocacy priorities and gives them a voice in setting those priorities. Attendees also learn about how to take advantage of NAHB’s many membership benefits and have the opportunity to network with other professionals in the housing industry.
NAHB Chief Economist Rob Dietz will update members on the industry outlook. Randi Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, will be the keynote speaker.
Already registered for the International Builders' Show? Click here to register for the Meeting of the Members.
Key Forestry Provisions in Farm Bill
Nearly three out of four American households believe that the nation is suffering a housing affordability crisis, and a majority of respondents reported this is a problem at their local and state level as well, according to a recent nationwide survey conducted on behalf of NAHB.
More than 2,200 adults were surveyed Nov. 27 through Nov. 30 to assess the public’s attitude on whether a lack of affordable housing is a problem in their neighborhoods, cities, states and nationwide. The poll cuts across partisan, regional, demographic and socio-economic lines. Among its key findings:
73% of respondents believe that a lack of affordable housing is a problem in the U.S.
68% believe this is an issue in their state, and 54% cite housing affordability as a concern in their neighborhood.
58% said that if they decided to purchase a home in the near future, they would have trouble finding a home they could afford in their city or county.
Nearly a third of America’s 119 million house- holds are cost burdened and pay more than 30% of their income for housing, based on NAHB analysis of 2017 Census data.
Jan 18, 2019
HBAI Board of Directors Installation & Orientation
Jan 24, 2019
Feb 19, 2019 - Thursday
Feb 21, 2019
Register by January 18 to get your badges and attendance package sent in the mail.
Patenaude Resigns as HUD Deputy Secretary
After 14 months on the job, Pam Patenaude has resigned
as deputy secretary of HUD. FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery will serve as acting deputy secretary.
NAHB had a good working relationship with Patenaude, who during her time as deputy secretary helped guide HUD through a number of challenging issues and showed strong leadership in addressing housing and community recovery in areas impacted by natural disasters.
NAHB will continue to maintain a very positive working relationship with Montgomery in his new role.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 10 agreed to hear a case that has widespread implications for how courts handle challenges to federal agency regulations.
The case, Kisor v. Wilkie, addresses the issue of whether courts should defer to an agency’s interpretation of its own regulations, known also as Auer deference.
NAHB supported the petitioner with an amicus brief as part of a proactive strategy developed to identify cases that put this issue squarely before the Supreme Court.
NAHB has long been concerned with this type of judicial deference because it can create incentives for agencies to avoid formal rulemaking processes or create vague regulations that they can later interpret however they see fit. Either tactic prevents home builders and other industries from participating in developing rules that govern their activities.
Supreme Court to Hear Agency Deference Case
Building Industry "Woman of the Year in Construction" Award
Commissioner Judy Frydland was recognized at the Key Awards Gala on November 15, 2018 for her leadership in streamlining the permit process and modernizing the City’s building code with the “Building Industry Woman of the Year in Construction Award”.
Judy is the second woman to receive this award from the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago who began recognizing women in construction last year. Randy Fifield, was the first to receive the award in 2017.
“When women in our field see others like them being recognized as leaders, it gives them confidence to aspire to do bigger and better things, and bring their creativity and innovation to the industry.” said Frydland during her acceptance speech.
Judy serves as the Commissioner of the Department of Buildings for the City of Chicago. Appointed in May 2015, Ms. Frydland was confirmed by full City Council in July 2015.
The Department of Buildings is a 285-person department with an annual budget of $37 million. The Department of Buildings supports the safety and quality of life for the residents and visitors of the city of Chicago through enforcement of the Chicago Building Code, including permitting, inspections, trade licensing, and regulatory review.
Prior to joining the Department of Buildings, Ms. Frydland spent 25 years in the Chicago Law Department working with various city departments, community groups and other stakeholders on the enforcement of building code, municipal health and business license violations.
In her most recent role as Deputy Corporation Counsel for Building and Licensing Enforcement, Ms. Frydland enforced the city’s vacant building ordinance and implemented strategies aimed to preserve the city’s housing stock, closed down and revoked licenses for problem businesses engaging in criminal activity, actively preserved occupied residential buildings through Circuit Court measures and available city programs, aggressively prosecuted illegal signs and dangerous and hazardous rooftop water tanks, as well as enforced the Life Safety Evaluation (LSE) requirements for pre-1975 high-rise buildings.
Judy has worked closely with the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago’s City Chapter developing videos and processes to improve and streamline the permitting process and modernize the city’s building code.
Ryan Building Group
Glenview Oak Brook
Moon & Co. Properties
Pella Windows & Doors
Welcome New Members
HBAGC Holiday Party
"Thank you to this year's host, BSH for offering your beautiful showroom for the HBAGC Holiday Party. What a wonderful evening!"
2018 Key Awards Winners
View all winners and photos here.
HBAI Presidents Award
In December of 1999, her HBA career began when she was hired as part-time administrative staff for McHenry County HBA. Her first task to plan and execute the McHenry County Medley of Homes to open by March 15th!
This was going to be the first in an extremely long list of impossible missions for which she would be responsible and accomplish with excellence.
During one of the darkest periods of her career, the HBA staff was reduced from 24 to only her. She led the HBA through having no money, no staff, no office, and bankruptcy. With the help of her late mentor, Tracy Hill, whom she promised, she would keep the HBA doors open, she undauntedly forged ahead.
Performing every task needed for their survival and growth into a thriving, successful, active HBA today. She more than kept her promise.
Members have written she is the ultimate glue that held the HBA together through every crisis, being the voice of reason and stability. Much of the HBA’s intellectual capital and their history is in her head.
She can sell memberships to almost anyone. Remembers all the connections with state and national regarding issues and resources available. Her knowledge and her achievements, makes her well respected at the State and National level as one of the best Executive Officers in the Federation.
She gave Members a chance to try new ideas. Although, if you came up with an idea, she would let you run with it. But you better execute it or else!
Her accomplishments are too lengthy to individually list, here are just a few...
The Key Awards
Numerous Home Shows
Creating the “Woman of the Year in Construction”
Being a mentor to anyone seeking her guidance and wisdom
… those are just a very few for her.
In addition to her HBA dedication, she has raised a family with her husband Bernhard. Two daughters Erika and Elisha and 4 grandchildren with one more on the way.
After 20 years of total dedication the Greater Chicago HBA, HBAI and NAHB, Rita Unzner has a well-earned retirement in 2019!
We will greatly miss your “fiery” but passionate opinions and caring advice. The history you know on about every HBA topic to be ever discussed. Your warmth and care for all of us at GC and HBAI.
Great job Rita, thank you and we will miss you!