BBB To Offer Social Media Seminars on September 9th
Whether you are just starting to figure out social media, or you are looking to improve your current strategy, we have just what you need! Join us for a day of social media seminars, or pick and choose just the sessions you would like to attend. From social media basics and strategy to understanding content and blogging, Carol Morgan and Mitch Levinson, managing partners at mRELEVANCE, LLC, will provide you with the expertise and tools you need to get your business noticed in today’s social media world.

On September 9th there will be three seminar opportunities:

10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Social Media Lab
Social Media Lab is a hands-on workshop designed to train professionals on how to effectively use social media to enhance their online reputation, reach existing customers and build relationships with target audiences. This lab covers the “how to basics” of Facebook, Twitter and blogging. Get started with the right sites and strategy with tips and insight.

12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Luncheon
He Said, She Said.
Get the answers to the most commonly asked questions related to online marketing from two different perspectives in He Said, She Said. Mitch answers questions from the perspective of how to improve your search engine optimization, while Carol focuses on how to create great content that attracts and engages readers on your blog and social media sites.

2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
10 Tips to Rev Up Your Social Media Program
Learn how these valuable, actionable tips will help accelerate your social media program by taking it to the next level. Whether you just launched a social media program or already have one and are looking for ways to improve it, this fun, interactive session will give you the horsepower you need to kick your program into high gear.

HBA members can pick the sessions they would like to attend for $30 each ($40 for the luncheon seminar), or attend all three for $100.

To register, visit Upstatesc.BBB.org or call 864-242-6905.

About the Presenters
Mitch Levinson and Carol Morgan
Carol Morgan and Mitch Levinson are partners in mRelevance, LLC, a real estate marketing firm with offices in Chicago and Atlanta.

Carol Morgan focuses on marketing strategy and integrating public relations, social media, content and creative to tell engaging stories for clients that garner measurable traffic. Carol is the author of Social Media 3.0, published by BuildersBooks.com, and creator of the nationally-ranked and award-winning AtlantaRealEstateForum.com, Atlanta’s popular real estate blog. She is the 2014 Chair of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Professional Women in Building Council and a member of NAHB’s Public Affairs committee.

Mitch Levinson is the author of “Internet Marketing: The Key to Increased New Home Sales.” An Internet marketing expert with proficiency in search engine optimization, website development, email marketing, social media and CRM consulting services, Mitch works to make all things digital more
effective for clients. He is chair of the National Association of Home Builders Institute of Residential Marketing and a Director of the National Sales and Marketing Council.
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OSHA Training Opportunity
The Home Builders Association of Charleston will host a two-day OSHA training course on September 9-10 at the Charleston Area Convention Center.

Attending members will learn to:
  • Write and maintain an effective safety program
  • Understand the effect of job site safety on insurance premiums
  • Anticipate what to expect from an OSHA inspection, including your rights
  • Comply with OSHA standards for fall protection, electrical, PPE, and more
  • Save money by avoiding fines
  • Earn a course completion card from Federal OSHA
Participants will become Fall Protection Certified and will have the opportunity to reduce their premiums with Builders Mutual Insurance Company.

To register, visit HBACharleston.com or call 843-572-1414.  The course fee is $35. The deadline to register is September 5.
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FHFA House Price Index Shows Gains for Twelve Consecutive Quarters
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced today that U.S. house prices rose 0.8 percent in the second quarter of 2014, according to its purchase-only, seasonally adjusted House Price Index (HPI). This is the twelfth consecutive quarterly price increase in the HPI.












The complete report can be downloaded by clicking here.

The FHFA HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Compared with last year, house prices rose
5.2 percent from the second quarter of 2013 to the second quarter of 2014. FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly index for June was up 0.4 percent from May, marking seven consecutive monthly increases.

“The extraordinary price appreciation observed over the last few spring seasons was not evident in the second quarter of this year. However, house price appreciation for the nation as a whole remained positive,” said FHFA Principal Economist Andrew Leventis. “FHFA’s data indicate that house price appreciation in the quarter was near or below the baseline rate of inflation in most states.”

FHFA’s expanded-data house price index, a metric that adds transaction information from county recorder offices and the Federal Housing Administration to the HPI data sample, rose 1.3 percent over the prior quarter. Over the last year, that index is up 6.2 percent. For individual states, price changes reflected in the expanded-data measure and the traditional purchase-only HPI are compared on pages 17-19 of this report.

Significant Findings
  • The seasonally adjusted, purchase-only HPI rose in 40 states during the second quarter of 2014, down from 42 states and the District of Columbia during the first quarter of 2014. The top annual appreciation was in: 1) Nevada, 2) California, 3) District of Columbia, 4) North Dakota, and 5) Arizona.
  • Of the nine census divisions, the Pacific division experienced the strongest increase in the second quarter, posting a 1.3 percent quarterly increase and a 9.8 percent increase since last year. House prices were weakest in the East South Central division, where prices decreased 0.1 percent from the prior quarter.
  • As measured with purchase-only indexes for the 100 most populated metropolitan areas in the U.S., second quarter price increases were greatest in the Winston-Salem, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) where prices increased by 4.6 percent. Prices were weakest in the Birmingham-Hoover, AL MSA, where they fell 4.9 percent. Positive quarterly appreciation was recorded in 74 of the 100 MSAs.
  • The monthly seasonally adjusted, purchase-only index for the U.S. has increased for seven consecutive months and 23 of the last 24 months (it decreased in November 2013).
  • The Pacific and Mountain census divisions—the two divisions that saw the greatest price increases last quarter—continued to decelerate.
FHFA’s “distress-free” house price indexes, which are published for 12 large metropolitan areas (page 32), have recently reported lower quarterly appreciation than FHFA’s traditional purchase-only indexes. In half of the areas covered, the series—which removes short sales and sales of bank-owned properties—shows lower appreciation over the last quarter than the purchase-only series. During the last year, the share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages financing distressed sales has fallen in all but two areas covered by the FHFA indexes.

The complete list of state appreciation rates is on pages 14-15. The list of metropolitan area appreciation rates computed in a purchase-only series is on pages 29-31. Appreciation rates for the all-transactions metropolitan area indexes are on pages 35-48.

Background
FHFA’s purchase-only and all-transactions HPI track average house price changes in either repeat sales or refinancings on the same single-family properties. The purchase-only index is based on more than 7 million repeat sales transactions, while the all-transactions index includes more than 51 million repeat transactions. Both indexes are based on data obtained from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for mortgages originated over the past 39 years.
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City of Greenville Infill Ordinance Receives Final Approval
Greenville City Council gave final approval to the much discussed Residential Infill Ordinance.  The ordinance is effective August 11, 2014.

The Infill Ordinance ordains the following:
  • Garages, carports, and driveways: must be constructed to be in character with the surrounding street and neighborhood.  New subdivisions may establish their own character, but the character of existing developments is being protected.  Generally, garages that protrude in front of the house on a street that does not have "snout" garages will not be allowed.  In addition, parking areas and circular driveways in front of homes will not be allowed unless there is a compelling reason to do so, like the house is on a busy street for example, or neighboring houses have parking in the front yard.
  • Stormwater: impervious surfaces on a single-family lot will be limited to 60 percent of the lot.  The portion of the lot covered by buildings was already limited to 40 percent of the lot.  The new ordinance limits additional impervious surfaces to another 20 percent, for a total of 60 percent.  The 60 percent threshold can be exceed, but the project will require stormwater mitigation specific to the individual lot.  Additional requirements also are imposed for "infill" subdivisions including a setback standard and character requirements for detention ponds.
  • Tree protection and replacement: The requirement for a tree survey for single-family residential development has been deleted. Instead, inclusive of all required trees (street trees), one canopy tree will be required for each 3,000 square fee of lot area, or portion thereof, excluding the footprint of the building.  Credit will be given, two-for-one, for each existing canopy tree saved if it is 6 inches or larger.  Planted trees must be a minimum of 2-1/2 inch caliper and maybe planted anywhere on the lot except where otherwise required (street trees).
  • The maximum height of a dwelling in R6 and R9 has been reduced to 35 feet measured to the centerline of the roof.  The maximum height remains 40 feet in all other districts.
 The objective of this ordinance is to preserve the character of existing neighborhoods, many of which are redeveloping, while not impacting the economic viability of infill activities.  "While the ordinance may limit consumer choice, it should succeed in insuring that infill activity remains an economically viable option for home buyers and home builders," Michael Dey, Executive Vice President of the Home Builders Association of Greenville, said.

Representing housing-related interests on the 17-member task force were:
  • Thomas Croft, Architect
  • John Edwards, Architect
  • David Crigler, Realtor and HBA member
  • Amanda Jones, Realtor and HBA member
  • Michael Dey, HBA of Greenville
  • Bruce Felton, Home Builder and HBA member
  • Matt Ruth, Remodeler and HBA member
  • Trey Cole, Remodeler and HBA member
The task force also included five representatives from neighborhood associations, three members of City Council, and a member of the Planning Commission.

To read the Residential Infill Development Ordinance, visit HBAofGreenville.com/public-policy-papers.php.
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Army Corps: Walnut Trees are a Wetland Species

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a number of ways to determine whether a particular piece of property should be classified as a wetland, and potentially subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act.

One of them is to see what sorts of grasses, sedges, trees and other vegetation is growing on the property ? and while cattails might be a dead giveaway, other plants might not seem so obvious.

But when the Corps decides that a walnut tree native to the hills of arid Southern California is a sign of a wetland, according to the National Wetlands Plant List, something’s a little haywire.

That’s why, with the help of expert consulting botanists, your Home Builders Association questioned the Corps’ determination. The good news? The association found out in May that its challenge, along with a similar request to change the rating for Japanese honeysuckle in other parts of the country, had been successful. The bad news? There are 8,055 challenges to go.

And unlike most other regulatory changes, the Corps can update the Plant List without going through the usual public notice and comment period. The list is updated at the Corps’ discretion and the changes appear online.

“This is a problem,” said NAHB Environmental Issues Committee Chair Charles “Chuck” Ellison, a builder in the Washington D.C. area and Delaware. “We need to know whether the decision to put a plant on the list is based on sound science. The process must be transparent.”

The committee is seeking the help of members whose projects have run afoul of the Plant List and will discuss its options during the National Association of Home Builders Fall Board of Directors meeting in Phoenix Sept. 3-6. For additional information, talk to Owen McDonough at 202-266-8662 or call Michael Dey at 864-254-0133.
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NAHB: To Rent or Buy is Not an Either/Or Decision
A recent article in U.S. News & World Report by NAHB economist Robert Dietz shows why housing policy should support both home owners and renters. View the summary below.

Though public opinion polling indicates that most renters want to become home owners, the economic fallout from the Great Recession has produced a surge in rental demand and sluggish demand for homeownership, particularly among first-time buyers. The result has been a declining homeownership rate (64.8% for the second quarter of 2014), even as other housing indicators have improved.

While achieving ownership has been delayed for many younger families, over the last few years it has become relatively more common to hear pundits argue that as a society we should pull back our support for homeownership. Such discussions typically involve income and other economic-based descriptions of home owners and renters as if these groups or people were distinct and fixed classes.

The Circle of Homeownership
These contrasts are misleading. The lifecycle of homeownership has important consequences when examining differences between home owners and renters. Using government data and taking several factors into consideration ? age, marital status, income, children, space requirements and structure ? it becomes clear that most people will be renters and home owners during different stages of their lives.

First, home owners as a group are typically older than renters. Census data shows that the number of renters exceeds home owners for age groups younger than 35 but that the homeownership rate increases with age, rising from 59% for those in the 35-to-44 age bracket and equaling or exceeding 70% for those aged 45 to 84 years.


This makes sense given the typical pattern of an individual leaving school, renting in order to accumulate savings, and then purchasing a first home.

Since home owners as a group tend to be older, they also have higher incomes. The data reveal that the median household income of renters was $31,888 in 2012, compared to $65,514 for home owners. A considerable part of this income difference is due to age.

And because homeowners tend to be older, they are also more likely to be married. According to the Census data, 60% of home owners are married couples, compared to only 27% of renters.

Married couples are also more likely to have children present in the home, and therefore need more room and space. Thus, it should come as no surprise that Census data reveals that 84% of the nation’s single-family homes are comprised of home owners while multifamily housing tends to be renter dominated.

One-Size Policy Does Not Fit All
All of these factors produce the local and regional variations in homeownership across the nation. For example, urban dominated New York has the lowest homeownership rate among states at 54% (and the District of Columbia is lower still at 42%), while states with older populations in the Northeast and Midwest have higher homeownership rates.

These data highlight that policy debates should not frame renters and home owners as distinct classes. Support for the development of rental housing is an important social goal to maintain safe, affordable and decent housing for those for whom renting is the best choice. And preserving our nation’s commitment to homeownership is needed given the well-documented social and private benefits that homeownership produces for families and communities.

It would be a mistake to weaken policy support for either form of housing, as the result would be diminished housing policy overall.

View the full U.S. News & World Report story.


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HBA Members Saved More than $7.2 Million Last Year
One of the perks of being a HBA member is an open door to exclusive discounts on a variety of products and services that can benefit your business, employees and family.

In the past year, members have saved more than $7.2 million through Member Advantage, which offers an easy way to reduce expenses, maximize profits and increase efficiency.

Major companies participating in the Member Advantage program include:
  • General Motors. Members can receive $500 off the purchase of most Buick, Chevrolet and GMC vehicles and business owners can receive up to $1,000 off select vehicles and may qualify for additional incentives. Visit nahb.org/ma to learn more.
  • Dell. Members can save up to 30% off top of the line Dell computers. For more details, visit www.dell.com/nahb or call 1-800-695-8133 and mention NAHB.
  • Geico. Exclusive discounts on auto and home insurance for members can be yours by visiting www.geico.com/disc/nahb or calling 1-800-368-2734 and mentioning NAHB for a free quote.
  • UPS. UPS discounts of up to 36% are available to members on a broad portfolio of shipping services, including air letters and packages, ground shipments, international imports and exports. Savings begin at 70% on UPS freight shipments over 150 pounds. Visit http://www.1800members.com/NAHB or call 1-800-MEMBERS (1-800-636-2377) for more information.
Visit nahb.org/ma for the most up-to-date information about which companies are offering discounts as well as detailed information on how to access the savings
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GSA Business: SC house flipping slows
According to a report by GSA Business, house flipping in South Carolina has slowed, dropping from 5.3 percent of total sales in the first quarter of 2014 to 4.5 percent in the second quarter.

Flipping is defined as being sold twice in the same 12 month period. 

In the Upstate, in Greenville 4.1 percent of all house sales were flips, down 42 percent.  Spartanburg was higher at 4.9 percent, but still down 13 percent.  And in Anderson, 5.1 percent of houses sold were flips, up 26 percent.  Pickens County also saw a rise in flips to 4.6 percent, a 47 percent jump.

Read the complete report at GSA Business by clicking here.
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National Data Indicates First Time Home Buyers are Still MIA
In the last year home building has surged 22 percent, and building permits are up 8 percent.  Even the Builder Confidence Index is up, now above 60.  However, first-time home buyers, which usually account for 30 percent of all new home buyers, is just 16 percent.

Why?  Underwriting guidelines, underemployment, high student loan debt, and a lower than expected opinion of homeownership, according to Dr. David Crowe, Chief Economist of the National Association of Home Builders.
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Keith Smith Builders Takes Cabinet Makers Association Honors
Keith Smith Builders won six Wood Diamond Awards at the annual Cabinet Makers Association meetings in Atlanta.  Below are the projects and honors earned by Keith Smith Builders:

First Place, Architectural Millwork Category, Best Overall Project, More than $25,000
First Place,Best Overall Project, Best Overall
First Place, Fireplace, Best Overal
First Place, Game Room, Best Overall
First Place, Home Theater, Best Overall, More than $25,000
Second Place, Residential Bar, Best Overall, More than $25,000

Visit the galleries to see images of the award winners by clicking here.
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Home Construction Rebounds in July

After a disappointing June report, housing starts rebounded to an annual rate of 1.093 million for a 15.7% increase over the upwardly revised June level. The substantial June dip, caused by a fall in single-family construction in the South, was eliminated as single-family construction rose 8.3% with increases in three of the four regions. Midwest single-family starts were down 6.8% to a 109,000 rate, but remain at about the same level as the second quarter average.

The Census and HUD data also indicated that multifamily starts increased to a 437,000 annual rate, the highest since February 2006. This increase was also spread across three of the four regions. Rental demand should continue to be strong, with recent CPI data and NAHB calculations showing inflation-adjusted rents up 1.4% over the last 12 months.

July’s home construction rebound mirrored rising home builder confidence. The August NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Index rose two more points to 55, approaching the 2014 high in January of 56. All three index subcomponents also increased. Expectations for the next six months increased by two points to 65, the highest since August 2013 and the index for traffic rose three points to 42, the highest since December 2013. The current sales index rose two points to 58.

A key question going forward is the degree to which the mix of buyers may change. The share of first-time home buyers remains weak, with a May NAHB survey showing only a 16% market share, compared to 25% to 28% between 2001 and 2007.

One consequence of this mix of buyers has been a rising trend in new single-family home size. However, this increase appeared to cool during the second quarter. Census data and NAHB analysis indicate that the median new single-family home size was 2,478 square feet, unchanged from the first quarter but 18% higher than cycle lows. More first-time buyers in the future will hold back growth in median new single-family home size.

Builder confidence in the single-family 55+ housing market was up again on a year-over-year basis in the second quarter, according to NAHB’s 55+ Housing Market Index. Compared to the second quarter of 2013, the 55+HMI for new single-family housing increased three points to 56?the highest second-quarter reading since the inception of the index in 2008 and the 11th consecutive quarter of year-over-year gains. One of the factors contributing to the positive outlook for new single-family 55+ housing is the slow but steady increase in existing home sales in the last three months.

The NAHB/First American Leading Markets Index advanced one point in the second quarter of 2014 to .89 from a June level of .88. The index measures the nation’s and 351 metropolitan markets’ proximity to normal economic and housing market activity. A value of one or more means the market is back to or above a normal level with an average of three components at or above one: single-family housing permits, house prices and employment levels. Over one-third (36%) of the metropolitan areas measured improvement since June and 78% of them improved since August 2014.

Consumer debt positions continue to improve, which should be a net positive for housing demand. Mortgage Bankers Association data indicate that mortgage delinquencies decreased to a seasonally adjusted rate of 6.04% at the end of the second quarter, 92 basis points below a year prior. And while total consumer credit, including auto and student loans, has expanded (by $62 billion in the second quarter), consumer debt service ratios remain low despite disappointing income growth.

However, home price gains, which improved consumer balance sheets, have taken a small toll on housing affordability. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index reached a level of 62.6 for the second quarter, meaning 62.6% of new and existing homes sold during the quarter were affordable to a family earning the U.S. median income of $63,900—down from the first quarter reading of 65.5.

Besides housing demand concerns, recent industry headwinds have included rising building material prices and scarcity. July producer price index data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that softwood lumber prices declined from June but remain above late 2013 prices. OSB prices dipped in July and added production capacity has kept price pressures in check. Gypsum prices are below 2014 highs but remain above their 2006 housing boom peak.

This more positive news concerning material prices matches a July NAHB industry survey that shows that shortages of key building materials have eased in 2014. Only 15% of builders reported some or serious shortages of trusses or clay bricks, the highest incidence among the more than 20 materials builders were asked about. Fourteen percent reported shortages of windows and doors, gypsum wall board, and cabinets.

Nonetheless, other headwinds persist. The count of unfilled construction sector jobs increased in June to 127,000, the fourth highest tally since the end of the recession. The number of job openings has grown significantly since 2011 as the housing industry has recovered. Since the point of peak job losses during the recession, the industry has added more than 301,000 jobs and the unemployment rate has fallen from 22% to 8.8% in July.

In analysis news, NAHB economists recently examined some of the consequences and factors determining homeownership for immigrant households. Analysts also looked at Census data concerning how people commute to work. The estimates show that from 2000 to 2012, the largest increases in total commuting were for driving alone, with working at home coming in second. Carpooling was down. Finally, NAHB examined recent global home price data.
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Your HBA meets with Senator Tim Scott's Legislative Advisers
Michael Dey and Mike Freeman, GMB, left, meet with Senator Tim Scott's Legislative Advisers at the Realtors Association offices.

Mike Freeman, GMB, President of your Home Builders Association and Partner in ACA/Freewood Contracting, and Michael Dey, Executive Vice President, met today with legislative advisers to Senator Tim Scott.  The meeting was a joint session with the Greater Greenville Association of Realtors and Spartanburg Association of Realtors.

Joining the meeting from Senator Scott's staff were Jaron Smith, Senator Scott's Legislative Adviser on tax, budget, and banking issues, and Danielle Smith, Senator Scott's Upstate Regional Director.

The association representatives discussed the following topics:
  1.  Reforming and preserving the mortgage finance system and in particular, ensuring the continuation of the fixed-rate 30-year mortgage
  2. Blocking EPA rulemaking that will expand the definition of Waters of the U.S.
  3. Preserve real estate-related tax policies including: renewing Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act, preserving the mortgage interest deduction, preserving the property tax deduction, and preserving like-kind (1031) exchanges
  4. Reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act
Your Home Builders Association would like to thank the Greater Greenville Association of Realtors for setting up and hosting the meeting. "We have a great partnership with GGAR on governmental affairs matters," said Michael Dey, Executive Vice President.  "Our coalition continues to produce great results for the members of both associations."
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Builder Breakfast TOMORROW! Sponsored by GBS
The HBA will be having our quarterly Builder Breakfast thisThursday, August 21st beginning at 7:30 a.m. This event is sponsored by GBS Building Supply and our featured speaker is Eric Vinson, AICP, Director of Planning and Codes Enforcement for Greenville County.
This event will be held at The Epicurean Restaurant. (1455 Woodruff Rd, Greenville)
Also, enjoy a short presentation on the latest and greatest products from KBRS-Tileable Shower Solutions and Plygem Stone courtesy of GBS Building Supply.
Don't miss out! 
Please R.S.V.P to 864-254-0133. This event is for Builder Members ONLY!

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HBA to thank yearly sponsors at Annual Sponsorship Luncheon.

Your HBA would like to thank each of our generous sponsors at the Annual Sponsorship Luncheon on August 27th at Progress Lighting.
The event will begin at 11:30 a.m, for more information or to register please contact the HBA office at 864-254-0133.
This years sponsors include:




















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Housing Production on Upswing, Tops 1 Million in July
Fueled by strong single- and multifamily growth, housing starts rose 15.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.093 million units in July, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the highest number since November 2013.

“A return to production levels over one million confirms consumer confidence continues to improve,” said Kevin Kelly. “Propelled by a healthier economy, more and more people are feeling ready to buy a home.”

Single-family housing starts were up 8.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 656,000 units in July, while multifamily production jumped 28.9% to 437,000 units. Multifamily production has not been this high since February 2006.

Regionally in July, combined single- and multifamily housing production rose in the Northeast, South and West, with respective gains of 44 percent, 29 percent and 18.6 percent. Total production fell by 24.8 percent in the Midwest from an unusually high June level.

Issuance of building permits registered an 8.1 percent increase to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.052 million units in July. Multifamily permits rose 21.5 percent to 412,000 units while single-family permits increased by 0.9 percent to 640,000 units.

The Northeast, South and West registered overall permit gains of 18.8 percent, 9.6 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively, while the Midwest posted a 0.6 percent loss.
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Greenville Roads Briefing Planned for August 26
A question will be on the ballot in November about whether the county should increase the general sales tax by one cent for eight years.  The proceeds of the tax increase, about $65 million per year, will be spent to improve the county's roads, bridges, and pedestrian facilities infrastructure.

If you are interested in knowing more about the proposal, you will have the opportunity to attend a briefing on Tuesday, August 26, 4 p.m. until 6 p.m., at Embassy Suites on Verdae Boulevard.  Light refreshments will be served.  The briefing will be provided by Citizens for a Better Greenville County, a coalition of business interests that your Home Builders Association has joined to support the referendum question.

You can RSVP to attend the briefing by emailing smoore@completepr.net.
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Member Advantage Now Includes Geico
Protecting your assets is very important to you. After all, you have worked your whole life to obtain them. Your HBA membership and GEICO are here to help. GEICO has more than 75 years of industry experience and understands what you need from your insurer.

GEICO and Member Advantage are proud to be working together to offer exceptional insurance products and a great savings opportunity for HBA members. As a member of the Home Builders Association, you could qualify for an exclusive discount on GEICO auto insurance.

When you consider the fact that new GEICO policyholders report average annual savings of over $500, you could be saving a lot of money. But there’s more to GEICO than just great rates. GEICO policyholders receive 24/7, professional, courteous service. When it comes to claim handling, GEICO is able to settle many claims within 48 hours of being reported, and sometimes a check can even be written on the spot. That’s why GEICO customers report a 97% customer satisfaction rate. As a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc, GEICO has the stability of a company you can trust. Savings, service and reliability? They can all be yours.

Visit geico.com/disc/NAHB or call 800-368-2734 and mention NAHB, for a simple, no-obligation rate quote to see how much you could save with your exclusive member discount. GEICO also can help you obtain competitive rates on homeowner’s, condo, motorcycle and more insurance coverage.

Some discounts, coverages, payment plans, and features are not available in all states or in all GEICO companies. Discount amount varies in some states. One group discount applicable per policy. Coverage is individual. In New York a premium reduction may be available. Average savings amount based on national GEICO New Policyholder survey data through March 2014. GEICO is the second-largest private passenger auto insurer in the United States according to the 2013 A.M. Best market share report, published April 2014. Customer satisfaction based on an independent study conducted by Alan Newman Research, 2013. Homeowners, condo and renters coverages are written through non-affiliated insurance companies and are secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc. Motorcycle and ATV coverages are underwritten by GEICO Indemnity Company.
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Builder Breakfast sponsored by GBS- Next Week!

GBS is the sponsor of our upcoming Builder Breakfast on Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 7:30amFeaturing guest speaker Eric Vinson, AICP, Director of Planning & Codes Enforcement for Greenville County. 
Also, enjoy a short presentation on two new products at GBS: 
KBRS - Tileable Shower Solutions and Plygem Stone 

This event will be held at The Epicurean Restaurant (1455 Woodruff Road, Greenville)

This event is for Builder Members only. We look forward to seeing all Builder members there! Please RSVP to the HBA office at 864-254-0133.

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Chili and Politics Event- September 11th.

The Home Builders Association of Greenville is holding its Annual Chili Cook-Off & PAC fundraiser on Thursday, September 11th from 5:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Join us at Progress Lighting for some food and fun, we will also have a best dessert contest. Our local and state politicians will be judging the chili and desserts, so you won't want to miss it.
If you would like to enter your chili or dessert please contact the HBA office.

PLEASE RSVP BY FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 5th
ALL CHILI SHOULD BE IN A 3-QUART CROCKPOT AND READY TO SERVE.

This event is sponsored by:
 
Presenting Sponsor
 
Bar Sponsor
 
       
Oyster Roast Sponsor


To enter your best Chili or Dessert recipe or to register please contact the HBA office at 864-254-0133 or email Crystal Yanes at cyanes@hbaofgreenville.com.

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Your HBA of Greenville attends National ALI conference

Your HBA of Greenville returned home early Saturday morning from a week long conference hosted by NAHB in St. Louis, Missouri. The conference called Association Leadership Institute or ALI was a week long conference designed to bring together all of NAHB's state and local associations for a variety of events, classes, and awards throughout the week. Some of the classes attended had to do with association law, social media optimization, ways to increase membership, and how to make membership better at each individual association. Attendees were also able to meet and brainstorm with leaders from other successful associations to talk about events or services that are benefits to their organization and ways that we can incorporate them into our association here in Greenville. While HBA staff are the majority of attendees HBA members and leaders are also encouraged to attend. 

For more information on the highlights of this ALI and information on next years event in Pittsburgh PA click here
Your HBA of Greenville staff is excited about some of the new ideas at this years conference, so stay tuned!

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Three Approved Professional Builders from Greenville Take Home Statewide Honors
Home building industry professionals were awarded the Home Builders Association of South Carolina’s most prestigious awards last week on Hilton Head Island. The twelfth annual Celebration of Excellence awards ceremony was held to honor the recipients of the Pinnacle Awards.

The Pinnacle Award recognizes the craftsmanship of the best home builders and remodelers in South Carolina. Fifteen Pinnacle Awards were given in five categories:
  • new home construction
  • remodel projects
  • energy efficiency
  • subdivision/community
  • sales & marketing
The 2014 Pinnacle Award winners from Greenville are:
Also winning Pinnacle Awards from around South Carolina are:
  • New Home Construction - $200,000 to $499,999: Saluda River Club ? Andy White (HBA of Greater Columbia)
  • New Home Construction - $500,000 to $749,999: Reclamation by Design, Ltd. ? Ron and Pat Strimpfel (Hilton Head Area HBA)
  • New Home Construction - $750,000 to $999,999: Central Signature Homes, LLC ? David Gully (HBA of Oconee)
  • New Home Construction - $1,500,000 to $1,999,999: Ken Black Builders, Inc. and Chapman Design Group, Inc. ? Don Chapman (HBA of Anderson)
  • Best Achievement in Energy Efficiency: Central Signature Homes, LLC ? David Gully (HBA of Oconee)
  • Remodeling Project - $149,999 and less: Gamble Home Services ? Tori Stein (Charleston HBA)
  • Remodeling Project - $150,000 to $249,999: Gamble Home Services - Tori Stein (Charleston HBA)
  • Remodeling Project - $250,000 to $499,999: Gamble Home Services - Tori Stein (Charleston HBA)
  • Remodeling Project - $500,000 and more: Icon Construction of SC, LLC and Chapman Design Group, Inc. ? Don Chapman (HBA of Anderson)
  • Best Subdivision/Community: Saluda River Club ? Andy White (HBA of Greater Columbia)
  • Best Overall Sales & Marketing: Saluda River Club ? Andy White (HBA of Greater Columbia)
  • Best Interior Merchandising for a Model Home: Saluda River Club ? Andy White (HBA of Greater Columbia)
Pinnacle Award winners will be highlighted in the upcoming S.C. Builder Journal and presented on the S.C. Department of Commerce and the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism websites to emphasize the craftsmanship and quality of S.C. residential builders.

About the Pinnacle Awards
The Pinnacle Awards were created to honor those in the home building industry who have achieved the highest standard of quality craftsmanship, innovative problem solving and customer satisfaction. This competition is a privilege of membership, as well as a means of challenging our members to greater levels of achievement.
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South Carolina second nationally for net in migration
Dividing the number of persons moving to a state by those moving to and moving from the state gives the percentage of in migration. Using this method, Oregon is the most popular state with 61 percent of movers moving there while just 39 percent moved away. Rounding out the top five are South Carolina at 60 percent, North Carolina at 58 percent, and Washington DC and South Dakota both at 57 percent. New Jersey was last at 36 percent.

Source:
Elliot F. Eisenberg, Ph.D.
GraphsandLaughs, LLC
www.econ70.com
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Housing Recovery Continues at Slow Pace According to Latest Leading Markets Index
Markets in 56 of the approximately 350 metro areas nationwide returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic and housing activity, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI), released today. This represents a year-over-year net gain of seven markets.

The index’s nationwide score moved up slightly to .89, meaning that based on current permit, price and employment data, the nationwide average is running at 89 percent of normal economic and housing activity. Meanwhile, 78 percent of markets have shown an improvement year-over-year.




In The Upstate, Greenville is at 89, up from 86 at the beginning of the year.  Continuing to hold back the Greenville market is permits, which remain at 57.  House prices are at 117, largely a function of lack of supply caused by sluggish starts.  Jobs are at 94 percent.  Spartanburg is at 84, down slightly and also being held back by slow starts.  Anderson is not longer tracked as a separate market and is included in the Greenville data.




“Things are gradually improving,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. “As the job market grows, we expect to see a steady release of pent up demand of home buyers.”

Baton Rouge, La., continues to top the list of major metros on the LMI, with a score of 1.39 ? or 39 percent better than its last normal market level. Other major metros leading the list include Honolulu; Oklahoma City; Houston and Austin, Texas. Rounding out the top 10 are Los Angeles; San Jose, Calif.; Salt Lake City; Des Moines; and New Orleans.

“With the national tally only reaching 43 percent of normal, single-family housing permits continue to be the lagging component of the index,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “The big bright spot is employment, where the number of metro areas having reached or exceeded their norms grew from 26 to 46 in a year.”

“In the 22 metros where permits are at or above normal, the overall index indicates that these markets have fully recovered,” said Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman of First American Title Insurance Co., which co-sponsors the LMI report. “This finding shows the impact that an uptick in permits can have on the overall health of markets.”

Looking at smaller metros, both Odessa and Midland, Texas, boast LMI scores of 2.0 or better, meaning their markets are now at double their strength prior to the recession. Also leading the list of smaller metros are Bismarck, N.D.; Grand Forks, N.D; and Casper, Wyo., respectively.

The LMI shifts the focus from identifying markets that have recently begun to recover, which was the aim of a previous gauge known as the Improving Markets Index, to identifying those areas that are now approaching and exceeding their previous normal levels of economic and housing activity. More than 350 metro areas are scored by taking their average permit, price and employment levels for the past 12 months and dividing each by their annual average over the last period of normal growth. For single-family permits and home prices, 2000-2003 is used as the last normal period, and for employment, 2007 is the base comparison. The three components are then averaged to provide an overall score for each market; a national score is calculated based on national measures of the three metrics. An index value above one indicates that a market has advanced beyond its previous normal level of economic activity.

Editor’s Note:

In calculating the LMI, NAHB utilizes employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, house price appreciation data from Freddie Mac and single-family housing permits from the U.S. Census Bureau. The LMI is published quarterly on the fourth working day of the month, unless that day falls on a Friday -- in which case, it is released on the following Monday.

For historical information and charts, please go to nahb.org/lmi.
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NAHB Asks EPA to Pull Back on Clean Water Act Regs
NAHB and other organizations that advocate on behalf of building and development issues today asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to remove city stormwater and sewer systems, also known as MS4s, from the revised definition of “waters of the United States” under the federal Clean Water Act.

It’s one of many moves the association is taking to rein in the regulatory overreach proposed the expansion of the act, which EPA released in the spring.

The Coalition of Real Estate (CORE) Associations told EPA that MS4s should be categorically excluded from the definition of waters of the U.S. because, for one thing, waste treatment systems have always had to abide by different rules because they aren’t designed to carry clean water.

Excluding MS4s would also provide “regulatory clarity,” the comments said, “and prevent improper interpretations that municipal storm sewers and their components could somehow be deemed jurisdictional ‘tributaries’ or ‘adjacent waters.”

“EPA’s obligations to establish water quality standards, criteria, and [other requirements] would prove to be illogical and unworkable as applied to MS4s and the conveyances within these systems,” the CORE comments said.

In addition, these storm and sewer systems are operated by the cities and other jurisdictions where they are located, and the Clean Water Act (CWA) is not supposed to intrude on local rights and responsibilities.

“Excluding MS4s . . . furthers the CWA’s objectives to vest states (and localities) with the primary responsibilities to control water pollution within their borders,” the comments said.

Read the full text of the CORE comments here.

EPA has proposed a substantial expansion to its enforcement of the clean water act that has been characterized by many as a "land grab."
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HBA Community Service Committee Helps Habitat Renovate a Home
HBA and Habitat for Humanity representatives visit the site of the latest renovation project
Your Home Builders Association's Community Service Committee is helping Habitat for Humanity renovate a home in Taylors that will soon be owned by a new, deserving family.  This is the third Habitat house renovated by the HBA in the last year.

HBA members contributing to the project include:
  • Allcon Roofing
  • ACA/ Freewood Contracting
  • Hughes Supply
  • Palmetto Exterminators
  • Waldrop Heating and Air
Thank you to all of those that donated their time and resources to help with this worthy cause. 

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