FHFA, Treasury Suspending Certain Portions of 2021 Preferred Stock Purchase Agreements

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) announced today they are suspending certain policy provisions added in January 2021 to the Preferred Stock Purchase Agreements (PSPAs) that govern Treasury’s support for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises). NAHB, together with the American Bankers Association, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Realtors®, sent a letter to Treasury and FHFA on Sept. 9, 2021 recommending the Read more…

What the Biden Vaccine Mandate Means for Home Builders

President Joe Biden last week announced a sweeping vaccine mandate to bring the latest surge in COVID-19 cases under control. Central to the administration’s plan is a requirement that every employer with more than 100 employees require the vaccine for its workforce or provide for weekly testing. The new mandate will be levied and enforced through a new emergency temporary standard (ETS) from OSHA in the coming weeks. OSHA’s authority allows the agency to immediately Read more…

Big Money For Solar, As Biden Targets Half Of U.S. Electricity From The Sun By 2050

A Solar Futures Study released by the Department of Energy (DOE) Wednesday projected that solar energy generation could reach 40% of the nation’s electricity consumption by 2035 and achieve nearly 50% by 2050, contingent on large federal government infrastructure investments such as those proposed by the Biden Administration. The study found that to reach 40% solar in the next 15 years, the US must double capacity each year until 2025, and then double it again from 2025 Read more…

Building Materials Prices: Large Increases Year-To-Date

According to the most recent release of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index (PPI), the prices of goods used as inputs to residential construction including and excluding energy have risen 19.0% and 12.0%, respectively, year-to-date (YTD). In contrast, the index for final demand goods has climbed 7.2% and that for final demand goods less food and energy is up 5.3% since January.  An even larger disparity exists between the YTD price changes of all final Read more…

Sometimes Mindlessness Is Better Than Mindfulness

“Be present.” This is the mantra of mindfulness meditation and a supposed key to self-awareness and acceptance. In one type of mindfulness exercise, the goal is to perform routine activities with a heightened sense of attention. “Try to take the time to experience your environment with all of your senses—touch, sound, sight, smell and taste. For example, when you eat a favorite food, take the time to smell, taste and truly enjoy it,” recommends one Mayo Read more…

Why We Need To Make Sport More Sustainable

Across industries, the future is being dictated by a focus on ESG –environmental, social and governance issues. Sporting events are no exception. This year, in the grand return of live sports we’d all been waiting for, we saw the Tokyo Olympics put a major focus on using recycled and recyclable materials: athletes’ beds made from cardboard, podiums made from recycled plastic, and even the medals were made from recycled electronic devices. These steps forward should certainly be Read more…

Residential Construction Loan Growth

The second quarter of 2021 marked the second consecutive quarter of loan growth for residential construction loans. These gains have lifted the year-over-year growth rate, marking an expansion of outstanding loans for home builders. The volume of 1-4 unit residential construction loans made by FDIC-insured institutions increased by 4.9% during the second quarter, even as the market cooled off strong seasonally adjusted rates of construction from the second half of 2020. The volume of loans Read more…

Exterior Elements Add Interest, Continuity to Luxury High-Rise Development

The Bozzuto Group and Harbor East Management Group partnered with Hickok Cole to design a new exclusive waterfront property. The result is Liberty Harbor East — a 775,000-square-foot mixed-use development situated between the Baltimore’s two most desirable neighborhoods, Inner Harbor and Fells Point, offering unobstructed views of the Patapsco River and the Inner Harbor — and the Best High-Rise Apartment Community for the 2020 Multifamily Pillars for the Industry Awards. “When we first saw this site, it Read more…

Let’s Talk About Human Impacts On The New York City Floods – It’s Not Just Greenhouse Gases

The remnants of Hurricane Ida devastated parts of the northeastern United States, including New York City. While the weather forecasts accurately sounded the alarm days in advance, this extreme event took its toll on one of the most populous cities in the world. In the aftermath, journalists started emailing scientists like me asking about climate change connections. For me, I like to discuss the humanitarian and weather aspects of disasters like this in the short-term. However, it’s Read more…

Job Gains Slow in August Amid Delta Variant Surge

Total payroll employment rose by 235,000 in August, marking a significant slowdown from the previous month. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate dropped to 5.2% in August, the lowest point during the pandemic. In August, residential construction employment rose by 17,400, while non-residential construction lost 20,300 positions, reflecting declines in builders (-2,800), nonresidential specialty trade contractors (-9,200) and heavy and civil engineering construction (-8,300). Currently, residential construction employment exceeds its level in February 2020, while only 52% Read more…