Texas Builder Blog

The Art of Builder and Associate Member Relationships

*NAHB, Filed in Awards, Membership on September 21, 2020

Building and remodeling homes is not a one-person job. It takes a network of people from all different backgrounds to provide the expertise, skills and hands-on work to make a project successful. Although Builders may be at the forefront of the charge, it’s the Associate members who often complete the puzzle. READ MORE

Time to Build a Single-Family Home in 2019

*NAHB, Written by Na Zhao on September 21, 2020

The 2019 Survey of Construction (SOC) from the Census Bureau shows that the average completion time of a single-family house is around 8.1 months, which usually includes a little over a month from authorization to start and another 7 months to finish the construction. The average time to build a single-family home has been on an upward trend since 2014 when it took around 7 months. READ MORE

Builder Confidence Soars to an All-Time High, Lumber Risks Remain

*NAHB, Written by Robert Dietz on September 16, 2020

In a strong signal that housing is leading the economic recovery, builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes increased five points to hit an all-time high of 83 in September, according to the latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The previous highest reading of 78 in the 35-year history of the series was set last month and also matched in December 1998. READ MORE

Good News for Women in Construction: Employment Rising

*NAHB, Written by Na Zhao on September 14, 2020

The number of women employed in the construction industry grew substantially in 2019 rising to around 1.2 million, surpassing the peak of pre-recession employment level. As the construction skilled labor shortage remains a key challenge, adding new workers is an important goal of the industry. Bringing additional women into the construction labor force represents a potential opportunity for the future. READ MORE

Texas Multifamily Developers, Architects Improvise

*Rebusiness Online, Written by Taylor Williams on September 10, 2020

The sudden merging of a healthy pipeline of multifamily product in Texas with a global pandemic that has caused a drastic increase in working from home is forcing apartment builders and designers to get exceedingly creative with all facets of their projects. READ MORE

Construction Job Openings Rise in July as Recovery Advances

*NAHB, Written by Robert Dietz on September 9, 2020

After an accelerated pace of layoffs in March and April, construction hiring roared back in May, increasing the count of open jobs in July per data from the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). The rebound for construction is concentrated in the residential building sector. READ MORE

Lake Travis-area Developments Seeing High Sales on New Homes

*Community Impact, Written by Brian Rash on September 9, 2020

Though sales in the residential real estate market throughout Greater Austin took a hit as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic began to take hold in March, developers in western Travis County have said they are now seeing an uptick in interest from builders and buyers. READ MORE

Housing Sales in San Antonio Seeing a Rise Despite the COVID-19 Pandemic

*NEWS4SA, Written by Alicia Guerrero on August 25, 2020

According to national numbers, housing sales plunged in March and April due to the pandemic but have risen for three straight months since then. READ MORE

Top Products Used in New Residential Construction

*NAHB, Written by Paul Emrath on August 27, 2020

In a recent article, NAHB analysis of government data found that new single-family and multifamily construction used a total of roughly $94.93 billion in building products in 2019. READ MORE

30-Year Remodeling Veteran Reveals Secret of Success

*Qualified Remodeler

This is the story of a chance conversation at a Christmas party that led a successful remodeling contractor to give back to the industry by helping other remodelers achieve greater levels of success, faster. READ MORE

Strong July for Housing Starts

*NAHB, Filed in Economics on August 18, 2020

In a further sign that housing continues to boost the economy, single-family and multifamily starts each posted solid gains in July, with total housing production up 22.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.50 million units, according to a report from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development and Commerce Department. This is the highest production rate since February. READ MORE

Total Hydrology Planning: Using Water to Drive Community Design

*NAHB, Filed in Sustainability and Green Building on August 18, 2020

Are you interested in reducing the cost of water infrastructure in your developments and for your homes? Would you like to use less land for stormwater management? Does a lack of water in your area or local water quality issues dictate how and if you can build? READ MORE

Nearly Half a Million Construction Workers Hired in June

*NAHB, Filed in Disaster Response, Economics, Labor, and Trends on August 11, 2020

After an accelerated pace of layoffs in March and April stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, construction sector hiring roared back in May and posted a slower but solid pace in June, according to the latest data from the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). READ MORE

Eight Steps to Digitally Transform Your Home Building Business

*Builder, Written by Tim Costello, on August 11, 2020

 Now is the time for builders to meet buyers where they’ve been for years: online. READ MORE

Builder Confidence Matches All-Time High on Record Traffic

*NAHB, Filed in Disaster Response, Economics on August 17, 2020

In a sign that housing continues to lead the economy forward, builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes increased six points to 78 in August, according to the latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today. The HMI now stands at its highest reading in the 35-year history of the series, matching the record that was set in December 1998. READ MORE

Housing Rebound: Year-over-Year Gains for June Single-Family Permits

*NAHB, Written by Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington on August 14, 2020

 Over the first six months of 2020 – and after the onset of the impact of the coronavirus – total single-family permits issued year-to-date (YTD) nationwide reached 433,484. On a year-over-year (YoY) basis, this is an 3.8% increase over the June 2019 level of 417,453. READ MORE

New Home Sales Reach Highest Level Since Great Recession 

*NAHB, Filed in Economics on July 24, 2020

In a sign that the housing market is leading the economy during the coronavirus outbreak, sales of newly built, single-family homes rose to their highest level since the Great Recession, up 13.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 776,000 units in June, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. The June rate is 6.9% higher than the June 2019 pace. READ MORE

Single-Family Starts and Permits Post Double-Digit Gains in June

*NAHB, Filed in Economics, Multifamily on July 17, 2020

Led by solid single-family production, total housing starts increased 17.3% in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.19 million units, according to a report from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development and Commerce Department. READ MORE

Builders See Strongest New Home Sales in 10 Years

*ProBuilder, Written by Lichtwolke99, on July 14, 2020

In its largest increase since the housing crash 10 years ago, newly built home sales jumped 55% in June. CNBC says the gain can be attributed to the pandemic, especially with homebuyer preferences focused on new, high-tech homes with space for work and schooling. READ MORE

Residential Construction Offers New Job Opportunities During Economic Recovery

*NAHB, Filed in Disaster Response, Labor, Safety and Health, Workforce Development on July 15, 2020

After the devastating job losses experienced across the country in March and April, construction hiring surged and job openings increased in May to 365,000. In a positive sign, home builders and remodelers added 83,200 jobs in June, after gaining 224,200 in May. READ MORE

The Older You Are, the More Likely You Are to Own a Home

*NAHB, Filed in Economics, Homeownership on July 7, 2020

A recent study released by the Federal Reserve Board reveals that homeownership rates vary widely by age, race and location. READ MORE

Residential Construcion Hiring Up More Than 300,000 in Last Two Months

*NAHB, Filed in Economics on July 8, 2020

The U.S. Department of Labor reported that total payroll employment increased 4.8 million in June as the overall construction sector added 158,000 jobs after a revised increase of 453,000 in May. The number of residential construction jobs rose by 83,200 in June, after an increase of 224,200 in May. READ MORE

Infographic: Robots in the Construction Industry 

*MultiBriefs, Written by Christian Castillo, on May 27, 2020

 The robots are coming, but instead of taking over our jobs, they’re more likely to help us become much more productive. READ MORE 

Builders Finding Substantial Value in Robotics

*DJCOregon, Written by Josh Kulla, on May 7, 2020

As the skilled labor shortage persists and the COVID-19 pandemic increases economic uncertainty, robotics are becoming more valuable than ever for certain types of projects – particularly those involving basic, repetitive work such as excavating and grading. READ MORE 

Using Drones in Residential Construction May Become More Popular

*NAHB, Filed in Councils & Committees, Disasters Responses, Sales & Marketing, on May 6, 2020

More and more home builders are embracing technology to help keep their businesses running amid the current COVD-19 pandemic. Teleworking when possible, online closings and other services, and increased private showings were all cited in a recent NAHB survey of builders. READ MORE

COVID-19 Update: ‘How Might We Chart a Course Back?’  

*Builder, Written by Mary Salmonsen, on May 1, 2020 

As some states begin to reopen, moving forward means balancing consumer comfort, safety, and econoomic resilience. READ MORE

Erin Wright's Wabi-Sabi Approach to House Building is Turning Heads

 *Lifestyles Magazine, Writen by Danny Mogle, May 1, 2020

Talk to Erin Wright about her work as a homebuilder and it's a safe bet — a very safe bet — that she'll bring up wabi-sabi. READ MORE

 Some Cities Keep Construction Going Via Virtual Inspections

 *NAHB, Filed in Construction Industry, Disaster Response, Economics, Home Building on April 22, 2020

Although many cities have classified residential construction as an essential business, a designation that allows home building to continue during the coronavirus-induced shutdown, this designation may not be sufficient to keep construction going. To help remedy this situation, some jurisdictions have started to allow virtual inspections. READ MORE 

Tips for Getting Jobsite Washouts Right

*ProBuilder, Writen by John Koenig, April 2, 2020

Proper disposal of concrete, paint, and other toxic slurries is an important quality-control measure on construction jobsites for a range of reasons, from protection of the environment to protecting your bottom line. READ MORE 

New Home Development Being Built in Pasadena

*Chron, Written by John DeLapp, CORRESPONDENT on March 6, 2020

The sound of pounding hammers and buzzing saws buzzing is filling the air as the first sizable subdivision in years rises in Pasadena. When finished, the Parkway Trails master-planned community, located at the intersection of Center Street and Red Bluff Road, will have added more than 500 rooftops to the city. READ MORE

Are Texas Developers Building too Many Apartments or not Enough?

*The Dallas Morning News, Written by Steve Brown on March 2, 2020

Exploding populations in D-FW and Texas fuel demand for rental units. READ MORE

How the Hidden Costs of Housing Affect Affordability

*NAHB, Filed in Affordability, on March 3, 2020

Rising home prices continue to put homeownership out of reach for many Americans. TheHill.TV reported in a recent episode that the median home price has jumped from $220,000 in 2010 to $331,000 in 2020. According to recent economic analysis by NAHB, more than half of U.S. households are unable to afford a $250,000 home, let alone a $331,000 home. READ MORE

Texas is Missing More Than a Half-million Houses

*The Dallas Morning News, Written by Steve Brown on March. 4, 2020

It’s no secret that home inventories around the country are at their lowest point in decades. Many metro areas have a shortage of housing. Texas alone is short more than a half-million houses from what’s needed, according to a report by mortgage giant Freddie Mac. And nationwide, there’s a deficit of more than 3 million homes. READ MORE

2020 A Record Low on Average 30-Year Fixed Mortgage: 3.29%
*U.S. News, by Associated Press, Written by Alex Veiga and Sarah Skidmore on March 5, 2020

Long-term U.S. mortgage rates have sunk to a record low, giving many homeowners an opening to refinance their loans to free up money to spend or save. READ MORE

Austin-area Housing Market off to Hot Start in 2020

*Statesman, Written by Shonda Novak, on Feb. 19, 2020

Following a record 2019 for the Central Texas housing market, 2020 has kicked off in much the same way, with home sales and median sales prices again reaching record highs in January. READ MORE

Why Single-Family Builders are Dipping Into the Rental Market

*Builder, Written by Robert Dietz, on Feb. 19, 2020

One of the defining characteristics of the Great Recession was a long period of declining homeownership. Since its peak at 69.2% during 2004, the homeownership rate declined through 2016, reaching a post-recession low of 62.9%. In recent years, the share of homeowning households gradually increased, albeit with notable declines during the first half of 2019 due to housing affordability and mortgage interest rate challenges. READ MORE

Single Women Homebuyers are a Growing Market Niche

*MultiBriefs, Written by Michael J. Berens, on Feb. 5, 2020

Women have long been the primary client — or in the case of couples, the primary decision-maker — for residential interior design services. Due to some recent demographic trends, a new subgroup of potential women clients is emerging — the single homebuyer. As might be expected, these homeowners have different priorities for what they want in a home and how they want it to function. READ MORE

Building, Adapting Homes for Aging Population 

*InMaricopa, Written by Kyle Norby, on Feb. 4, 2020

From width of doorways to styles of doorknobs, design and remodeling of homes for an aging population has drawn notice from the construction industry since the 1990s. Though the topic is uncomfortable for many to talk about, surveys have found many seniors or soon-to-be seniors want to stay in their homes as they age. According to AARP, that’s 89%. The idea of having to move to a new living space to accommodate the issues of health or just slowing down is just not palatable. READ MORE

NAHB Course Provides Closer Look at Home Builders' Finance

*NAHB, Filed in Business Management, Education on Feb. 7, 2020

The true measurement of a business owner’s success — the financial scorecard — is a reflection of proper financial management and accounting. Builders and remodelers must understand accounting principles and job cost procedures to properly manage their businesses and achieve a balanced scorecard. READ MORE

Private Residential Construction Spending Rises for the Sixth Consecutive Month

*NAHB, Written by Na Zhao on Feb. 3, 2020

NAHB analysis of Census Construction Spending data shows that total private residential construction spending increased 1.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of $540.7 billion in December 2019. With the support of decreasing mortgage interest rates, it was the sixth consecutive monthly increase after declines in the first half of 2019.  Nevertheless, the value of total private residential construction was $514.3 billion in 2019, 4.7% lower than a year ago. READ MORE

New Residential Community Southwest of Dallas Will Have Thousands of Homes

*The Dallas Morning News, Written by Steve Brown on Feb. 3, 2020

A huge new development southwest of Dallas will bring more than 2,000 homes.Hanover Property Co. has purchased 966 acres on U.S. Highway 287 in Midlothian for the mixed-use project. The planned $950 million development will include single-family homes, townhouses and commercial and industrial construction. READ MORE

Designing a Home's Main Defense: The Building Envelope

*Builder, Written by Tim Seims on Jan. 31, 2020

There is more to the exterior design of a home than just a pretty façade. In residential projects, system design of the building envelope seldom receives the attention it deserves. More time and resources need to be spent on what is the homes’—and occupants’—main defense: the building envelope. READ MORE

Final Opportunity Zone Regulations Provide Clarity but Add Complexity

*NAHB, Filed in Multifamily, Tax Reform Toolkit on Feb. 4, 2020

In late December, the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released the final regulations on investing in qualified opportunity funds (QOFs), which clarify many key issues regarding investments in opportunity zones and how to qualify for the associated tax benefits. NAHB has reviewed the final regulations and updated its frequently asked questions (FAQ) webpage to note key issues related to real estate investments. READ MORE

Millennials Will Dominate the Mortgage Market in 2020

*NAHB, Filed in Affordability, Economics, Homeownership, Housing Trends, International Builders' Show on Jan. 28, 2020

Markets in the South and West will experience the highest housing activity in 2020, as more millennials move out of big cities in search of more affordable markets, according to experts who shared some of the latest industry trends during last week’s International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. READ MORE

2019 New Home Sales Up 10% Over Previous Year

*NAHB, Filed in Economics on Jan. 27, 2020

Sales of newly built, single-family homes declined 0.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 694,000 units in December, coming off a downward revision in November, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. The monthly number is 23% higher than the December 2018 pace. An estimated 681,000 new homes were sold in 2019, 10.3% higher than in 2018. READ MORE

2020 Study: Builders Increasingly Focusing on High-Performance Building Practices

*NAHB, Filed in Sustainability & Green Building on Jan. 21, 2020

Home builders across the country are prioritizing high-performance building practices in their projects, regardless of whether they consider the home they are building to be “green,” according to new research published in the 2020 Green Single Family and Multifamily Homes SmartMarket Brief. READ MORE

Demands for Apartments Will Fuel the Multifamily Sector in 2020

*NAHB, Filed in Economics, Multifamily on Jan. 22, 2020

Apartment production has returned to pre-recession levels and vacancies are low, but more new apartment homes are needed, according to experts participating in a press conference today during the NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. READ MORE 

NAHB Identifies Top Features and Design Trends for 2020

*NAHB, Filed in Design, Housing Trends on Jan. 22, 2020

Walk-in master bedroom closets, low-emissivity (low-e) windows and laundry rooms are the most likely features in typical new homes in 2020, based on a survey of single-family home builders. Energy-efficient features such as efficient lighting, programmable thermostats and ENERGY STAR appliances will also be likely, as will open design concepts such as great rooms and nine-plus-foot ceilings on the first floor. READ MORE

Recovery Added $11.3 Trillion to U.S. Housing Value in the 2010s

*Daily Record, by Zillow on Jan. 17, 2020

The total value of every home in the U.S. is $33.6 trillion, nearly as much as the GDP of the two largest global economies combined — the U.S. ($20.5 trillion) and China ($13.6 trillion) — according to a new Zillow® analysis. Since 2010, when the market was battling to regain its footing in the wake of one of the largest housing downturns on record, the national housing market added $11.3 trillion in value — a more than 50% increase. READ MORE

How to Build Communties Buyers Will Love to Call Home

*NAHB, Filed in Design on Jan. 14, 2020

A shift is taking place with home buyers. They want to invest in more than a home; they want to invest in the experience of living there. As a result, home builders need to focus more than ever on “placemaking” in community and neighborhood design. READ MORE

As California Comes to Grips with Housing Crisis, Texas Real Estate Rises in 2020

*Curbed, Written by Patrick Sisson on Jan. 14, 2020

Because of less red tape and a tendency toward sprawl, Texas has been able to keep up with demand and build more units over the last decade.The state’s rate of new construction and single-family housing permits has trended well above the national average since 2000, according to Texas A&M research, and the gap has only widened since 2010. READ MORE

Expert: 2020 to be 'Huge Year' For Austin Housing Market

*Statesman, Written by Shonda Novak on Jan. 14, 2020

Following a strong 2019, Central Texas homebuilders can look forward to a reprise this year in the region’s housing market. READ MORE

2020's Trending Colors of the Year

*NAHB, Filed in Design, Housing Trends on Jan. 10, 2020

New year, new decade. Time to breathe new life into home design. Restoration, optimism and sophistication are woven throughout this year’s selection of colors of the year, announced annually by Pantone and various major paint manufacturers. READ MORE

Experts Predict What the 2020 Housing Market Will Bring

*The Washington Post, Written by Kathy Orton on Jan. 6, 2020

A strong job market and low mortgage rates should sustain the housing market in 2020. The problem will be finding enough homes for buyers. With unemployment hovering at a 50-year low and interest rates well below historical norms, the real estate industry is being dragged down by scarcity in housing stock, especially at lower price ranges. Not enough homes are being built, and homeowners are staying put longer, creating a bottleneck. READ MORE

The Make It Movement Wants You to Learn a Trade and Love What You Do

*The Austin Chronicle, Written by Brant Bingamon on Dec. 27 2019

At its heart, the Make It Movement is a campaign promoting two-year degrees and career education so young people can enter well-paying jobs quickly and with little debt. The movement encourages young and old alike to ask an existential question — "What do I love to do?" — and then to find practical ways to turn the answer into a profession.  READ MORE