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Homes are much more than mere shelter
They are at once critical to every community and an engine of economic growth.
Building 100 single-family homes generates:
Current policy issues
At any given time federal regulators are working on dozens of rules that can have significant impacts on the viability and costs of housing projects around the country. This sections looks at just four of those issues – housing finance, resiliency, regulatory reform and tax policy – with an overview of the challenge and proposed solutions that could benefit small businesses and consumers alike.
Congress must reassert meaningful oversight authority over, and ultimately fix, our broken regulatory rulemaking system. Any overhaul must acknowledge the disproportionate compliance burden small businesses face.
On average, almost 25% of the cost of a typical new single-family home — close to $85,000 — is due to government regulation.
Reasonable regulations are essential to protecting health and safety. However, many regulations are imposed by unelected bureaucrats who establish laws far beyond Congress’ original intent.
What’s more, legislators often fail to see how countless layers of regulation imposed by numerous and varied agencies slow the economy, prevent families from achieving homeownership and harm small businesses.
Congress needs to move legislation to establish a new secondary market system for conventional mortgages with a limited, well-defined federal government backstop for catastrophic circumstances.
Almost 10 years after the Great Recession pushed the economy to the brink of disaster, the nation's housing market remains far below its potential. The unsettled housing finance system contributes greatly to the problem. Uncertainty in the system stymies investment, slows the housing market and puts the broader economy at risk.
The key to an effective secondary market system for conventional mortgages is a limited federal backstop for catastrophic circumstances. History shows the limitations of the private mortgage market. During bad times, private mortgage credit has fled the market, leaving government-supported mortgage loans as the only option for qualified buyers.
Federal support is particularly important in continuing the availability of the affordable 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage that has helped millions of American families to build wealth and financial security through homeownership.
Congress must ensure the mortgage interest deduction remains a meaningful homeownership incentive for middle-class households, and also that the production of affordable rental housing continues under the Low Income Housing Tax Credit.
Even though the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 has been signed into law, much remains unsettled in U.S. tax policy. As the measure is implemented, federal legislators will get a sense of what needs to be revised or refined.
While the new law maintains the mortgage interest deduction, it reduces the number of households that will claim the deduction. This will affect home prices, potentially harming millions of American families.
Also important are tax credit programs that encourage production of housing for low- and moderate-income households.
Measures to ensure resilience in communities, infrastructure and buildings must be practical, cost effective and based on sound science. Such efforts should be coordinated between various levels of government, communities and businesses to prevent conflicting or duplicative requirements.
An unusual number of significant natural disasters in recent years and concerns over climate change have prompted consideration of resiliency at every level of government.
Resiliency plans, policies and programs will significantly affect how and where new homes and communities are built and greatly influence how cities and existing structures are re-engineered, rebuilt and/or remodeled.
Retrofitting and improving the existing housing stock and commercial inventory should be a priority. Newer homes and businesses constructed to more updated code requirements have proven to be more resilient in recent disasters. State and local communities should have the flexibility to adopt codes that address their resiliency priorities.
Remodeling activity and production of multifamily housing have similar impacts on the local economy.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is a federation of more than 700 state and local associations seving more than 140,000 members. About one-third are home builders and remodelers. The rest work in closely related fields that support the housing industry.
NAHB works hard to protect homeownership and rental housing opportunity.
Housing availability and policy in America
The ability to find a home in your area is a factor many of us take for granted. Not all have this luxury, and there are specific ways Americans would like to see the government act to remedy this.
Percent of Americans saying there is a housing shortage in their community:
Americans Agree on Housing Policies To Help The Middle Class
Percent of Americans who agree with each of the following policies:
Homeownership in America
Homeownership is a key piece of the American Dream, and one that millions of Americans participate in each year. But for some, there are obstacles in the way to reaping the wonderful benefits associated with homeownership.
Intent to Purchase Housing
Obstacles to Purchasing a Home
Percent of Americans that say each of the following is an obstacle to purchasing a new home:
Finding a better job
Getting approved for a mortgage loan
Having enough savings to cover the down payment
Finding a home with the features and size that you want
Finding a home at a price you can afford
Being able to sell your current home at the ‘right’ price
Finding more information about the process of purchasing a home
Having to pay down student / other debt first
Homeownership presents great benefits
Percent of Americans saying each of the following are benefits of homeownership:
Remodeling in America
Millions of Americans remodel their homes each year, for many different reasons. This brief exploration of those remodeling their homes gives insight into the scale, and the reasons, for trying to improve our homes.
Among those planning to remodel, Americans plan to remodel for the following reasons:
To update for modern amenities and design trends
To increase resale value
To increase rooms and square footage
Because I don’t want to leave my neighborhood
To accommodate a parent or other relative
Because it costs less than moving to a different home
Source: National poll conducted in Q4 2017 for NAHB by Morning Consult
U.S. Economic Data
The Data Tells a Story
Housing starts, new home sales and other housing benchmarks can be valuable tools in analyzing housing market dynamics and consumer behaviors, and making reliable market projections.
NAHB’s proprietary analysis tools, including the Housing Market Index and the Housing Opportunity Index, are among the industry’s most important market benchmarks.
The State of Housing
The State of Rental Housing
Source: U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey