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A Wide Disparity in State Property Taxes

There is nearly an $8,000 difference between what residents of the state with the highest property taxes pay compared to those who live in the state with the lowest rate.

NAHB analysis of data from the 2017 American Community Survey and U.S. Census Bureau shows that in 2017, New Jersey continued its perennial distinction as the state with the highest average annual tax bill per home owner. Garden State home owners paid an average of $8,485 in real estate taxes in 2017.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Alabama ranked 50th among home owners in average  real estate tax paid per year. There, the average real estate tax bill totaled just $678.

The top five states with the highest average annual property taxes are all located in the Northeast:

Rank Average Real Estate Taxes Paid Per Year
1. New Jersey $8,485
2. Connecticut $6,349
3. New York $6,054
4. New Hampshire $5,713
5. Massachusetts $5,192

The states with the lowest average annual property taxes are primarily located in the South:

Rank Average Real Estate Taxes Paid Per Year
50. Alabama   $678
49. West Virginia   $812
48. Mississippi   $967
47. Louisiana $1,005
46. Arkansas $1,012

NAHB economist David Logan looks at the national picture and provides further analysis in this Eye on Housing blog post.

Find out where your state stands on the list.

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Labor Department Issues Proposed New Overtime Rule

The Labor Department has issued a proposed new overtime rule that would raise the overtime salary limit from $23,660 to $35,308.

This means that any professional, administrative and executive employees making under $35,308 would be due time and a half if they work more than 40 hours a week.

However, this proposal has not yet been published in the Federal Register and could be subject to modifications. Once published, NAHB will review the proposed rulemaking and submit comments on the proposal.

NAHB opposed the Obama-era rule that would have raised the overtime threshold to $47,476 because such a drastic jump would result in real hardship for the nation’s small business community. We joined other business groups in filing a lawsuit to challenge this rule. As a result of these efforts, the rule was never implemented because a judge issued a preliminary injunction against it.

Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta testified at his Senate confirmation hearing two years ago that he would prefer a more modest salary threshold for overtime pay than previously proposed. He suggested a threshold of around $33,000, which would be more in line with inflation.

For more information, contact Felicia Watson at 800-368-5242 x8229.

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March 2019 Newsletter

Click here to read the March 2019 HBCA Newsletter

March 2019 Parade of Homes™ Builder Spot light

The Parade of Homes Beautiful Homes Tour will feature Joyal Homes and LifeStyle Homes in the 2019 Showcase Community, Valencia in Addison Village.

 

Valencia in Addison Village is one of Viera’s newest neighborhoods designed for the enjoyment of living. Join us March 16-24 to experience this modern, beautiful gated community with the one and only, official Parade of Homes.

New Home Sales Higher Than Expected in November

Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 657,000 units in November after an upwardly revised October report, according to newly released data by HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the highest sales pace since March 2018. However, on a year-to-date basis, sales are down 7.7% from this time in 2017.

The sales report was delayed due to the partial government shutdown.

“The sales increase was fueled by a notable uptick in homes sold at the affordable end of the market,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel. “There is clearly a demand for new home homes even as builders continue to grapple with supply-side challenges, including shortages of lots and labor and higher building material costs stemming from tariffs.”

“Solid job growth and growing household formations should support future demand for housing even as builders continue to address mounting affordability woes,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Builders are doing all they can to hold the line on costs to meet this demand, particularly at the entry-level market.”

A new home sale occurs when a sales contract is signed or a deposit is accepted. The home can be in any stage of construction: not yet started, under construction or completed. In addition to adjusting for seasonal effects, the November reading of 657,000 units is the number of homes that would sell if this pace continued for the next 12 months.

The inventory of new homes for sale rose to 330,000 in November. The median sales price fell to $302,400, as the market has shifted to lower-cost houses.

Regionally, on a monthly basis, new home sales jumped 100% in the Northeast, 30.5% in the Midwest and 20.6% in the South. Sales fell 5.9% in the West.

NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz provides more analysis in this Eye on Housing blog post.

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Fed Holds Interest Rates Steady; What Does This Mean for Housing?

green percentThe Federal Reserve ended its two-day meeting of its policymaking committee by announcing it would hold short-term interest rates steady and signaling that it will carefully evaluate future economic conditions before considering another rate hike.

NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz provides the following analysis of the Fed’s decision and how it could affect the housing market in an Eye on Housing post:

“As expected, the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy body, the Federal Open Market Committee, unanimously held steady the federal funds top rate at 2.5%. The Fed’s January statement was consistent with recent policymakers comments suggesting a more flexible stance toward monetary policy at the end of last year and the start of 2019.

“In particular, the statement indicated that the Fed will ‘be patient as it determines what future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate may be appropriate to support these outcomes.’ This is a decidely more dovish stance for the Fed relative to commentary from the Fall of 2018, reflecting anchored inflation expectations and economic softness in some sectors, including housing, as illustrated by today’s December pending home sales data from the National Association of Realtors.

“Moreover, the Fed, in an accompanying statement, noted that it could modify its ongoing balance sheet reduction, which reduces its net holding of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities, leading to higher rates (quantitative tightening), if economic conditions warrant such a change. This revision notes that the Fed would ‘be prepared to use its full range of tools, including altering the size and composition of its balance sheet, if future economic conditions were to warrant a more accommodative monetary policy than can be achieved solely by reducing the federal funds rate.’

“In combination, these changes to the Fed’s monetary policy stance are more favorable for housing market conditions in 2019, which are currently challenged by growing concerns over housing affordability and sluggish growth for home building.

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February 2019 Associate Spotlight – Twin Rivers Insurance

The HBCA is proud to announce the 2019 Parade of Homes™ Signature Sponsor, Twin Rivers Insurance. If you are looking to insure the things that matter most, Twin Rivers Insurance has been a member for 4 years and supports the building industry and Brevard. They are a full service insurance agency that offers affordable coverage for your family, home and business.

Twin Rivers Insurance’s commitment to quality and vast network of leading insurance carriers has provided the people of Florida with comprehensive, reliable insurance policies. Partnering with leading carriers such as Travelers, Bankers, Hartford, Health First, and BCBS to name a few, Twin Rivers Insurance can provide coverage spanning auto, home, life, health, commercial insurance and more.

Request Consultation – Call 321-726-6550 or visit TwinRiversInsurance.com

February 2019 Builder Spotlight – DiPrima Homes

HBCA longtime member DiPrima Custom Homes will be featured as the 2019 Parade of Homes™ Showcase Home. Pictured to the left is one of DiPrima’s newest models, the Villa Lucca Grande in St. Andrews Manor.

Join us March 16-24 to view this new community of luxury custom homes, conveniently located off the Pineda Extension, between I95 and Wickham Road. Buyers may choose from a diverse array of new floor plans and elevations including Coastal and Mediterranean styles.

DiPrima is excited to feature Green Building techniques and the latest architectural details in the St. Andrews design portfolio. There is no time like the parade to select your new home site.

Call 321-777-2500 or visit DiPrima.com

February 2019 Newsletter

Click here to read the February 2019 HBCA Newsletter

Existing Home Sales Down Sharply in December

Total existing home sales fell 6.4% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.99 million in December, according to the latest figures by the National Association of Realtors. Sales are at their lowest level since November 2015 and down 10.3% from a year ago (5.56 million in December 2017).

Total existing home sales include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops.

Existing home sales remained sluggish in 2018 due to rising mortgage rates, growing home prices and tight inventory.

Meanwhile, the new home sales report for December scheduled to be released on Jan. 25 will likely be postponed due to the government shutdown.

The first-time buyer share of existing home sales slightly declined to 32% in December from 33% the previous month. The December inventory decreased to 1.55 million units from 1.74 million units in November. At the current sales rate, the December unsold inventory represents a 3.7-month supply, down from a 3.9-month supply last month.

Homes stayed on the market for 46 days in December, up from 42 days in November and 40 days a year ago. In December, 39% of existing homes sold were on the market for less than a month.

The December median sales price for existing homes was $253,600, up 2.9% from a year ago. This marks the 82nd consecutive month of year-over-year increases. The December median condominium/co-op price of $240,600 was up 2.3% from a year ago.

NAHB economist Fan-Yu-Kuo provides more analysis in this Eye on Housing blog post.

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