Prizes honor projects for energy efficiency, affordability, and low projected operating costs
ZEC prizes honor projects for energy efficiency, affordability, and low projected operating costs
They still remain very much in the minority, but anti-smart-meter groups are prompting investigations and continue to voice concerns about security and safety
A solar simulator and a research initiative at Concordia University in Montreal focus on solar energy applications and strategies for bringing building performance to net zero energy
Neighbors have stalled a 35-unit subdivision of energy efficient dwellings, but the delay gives a Habitat chapter time to refine its green building technique
One coupleâ€™s quest for energy efficiency leads them to a relatively low-cost approach to design and construction
As the cost of photovoltaic panels has declined, some developers of utility-scale renewable-energy power projects originally designed for solar thermal have been shifting to PV
Even though the expanded Weatherization Assistance Program struggled out of the gate â€“ and can always be improved â€“ it has produced encouraging, credible results
EPA official tells NAHB webinar participants that the agency is increasing inspections of RRP job sites and stepping up enforcement
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab touts the technology's track record for sealing leaks in duct systems and improving energy efficiency
Corporations partner on development of large communities whose top priorities include energy efficiency, renewables, and energy storage
The DOE names contestants in a competition intended to make permitting and financing for photovoltaic systems quicker and cheaper
Using two identical, side-by-side homes as their laboratory, DOE researchers aim to measure the effectiveness of a variety of energy efficiency improvements
As the state prepares to cut greenhouse gas emissions 80% below 1990 levels over the next 38 years, scientists predict a mostly electric future
A Danish solar-panel company teams up with a Russian developer to build a home designed to showcase net-zero-energy performance
The agreement marks another step toward addressing litigation over drywall that off-gasses hydrogen sulfide
It's all part of Representative Chuck Fleischmannâ€™s campaign to stop "green initiative abuse"
The cost of electricity generated by onshore wind turbines will, by 2016, be competitive with the cost of power from fossil-fuel plants, recent research shows
Hundreds of builders have committed to meeting energy efficiency standards set by of Energy Star Homes Version 3, which takes effect beginning January 1
Thereâ€™s still a disconnect between Americansâ€™ awareness of energy efficiency benefits and the â€śmagic numberâ€ť of actions they need to take to significantly reduce their utility bills
The free session will focus on lead-sale practices, compliance, lead-safe certification, and recent rule changes
An HVAC contractor and a building inspector faced criminal charges in connection with the deaths of four people who were poisoned by carbon monoxide
Proposed legislation would require home appraisals to reflect expected energy costs, allow homeowners to recover investments in upgrades, and even create jobs in the retrofit and construction sectors
Once again, the Residential BuildFax Remodeling Index increased in both year-over-year and month-to-month readings
An appraisal form newly introduced by the Appraisal Institute aims to standardize analysis and reporting of energy efficiency features
A McGraw-Hill Construction study indicates green jobs comprise about one third of the design-and-construction workforce
Another production builder commits to using the HERS Index to tout the energy efficiency of its homes
Despite competitive pressures and the failure of Solyndra, the solar-industry workforce has more than doubled since 2009, the Solar Foundation says in a report titled "U.S. Solar Market Insight: 2nd Quarter 2011," which can be viewed here: http://www.seia.org/galleries/pdf/SMI-Q2-2011-ES.pdf
The Consumer Product Safety Commission issues guidance for those who own homes afflicted with Chinese drywall
Their financing options narrowed, homeowners focused on improving the property they have, according to the latest BuildFax survey
The builder rolls out a net-zero-energy option that includes photovoltaic power as well as energy efficiency measures well beyond those required by Energy Star
A state-backed, utility-run program in California shows how photovoltaics and energy efficiency measures are making economic sense for builders
FBR Capital Markets cites â€śoverlookedâ€ť signs that a recovery may be underway for some production builders
The 2012 IBS showcase project, under construction in Florida, is smaller than past New American Homes, but still loaded
The association announces a monthly index showing which housing markets are on the upswing
Homebuilders in a variety of sectors find ways to cut material, design, and construction costs as they accommodate energy efficiency requirements
The city contemplates a â€śgreen gradeâ€ť certification program to help market homes built or retrofitted to be energy efficient
Challenges to its plans to reduce pollution runoff from construction sites have sent the EPA back to the drawing board once again
Phoenix-based Modus Development revisits a condo project proposed in 2007, and, in response to market conditions, redesigns it as rental apartments
Eugene, Oregon, is now regarded as extremely accommodating to eco-friendly builders, but at least a couple of them remember when it wasnâ€™t easy being green
Scrutiny of the appraisal system continues to intensify
Betenbough, Elite Homes, and KB Home add green certifications to their marketing toolbox
A white paper explores how builders, manufacturers, and government entities can develop the market for projects designed for net-zero-energy performance
A look at the likely home-buying preferences of Baby Boomer offspring, who by 2025 will comprise a major segment of the market
The return to stability, the association says, will be shorter and easier if lending restrictions are reduced and if loan limits and the National Flood Insurance Program are extended
As the temporary slowdown in foreclosure processing sparks all-cash purchases by investors in South Florida, housing shows its potential for both recovery and volatility
Through May, the industry had a year and a half of consecutive gains, according to BuildFax
Still on the associationâ€™s wish list: a reliable, inexpensive lead test kit and a provision that would allow households with no children or pregnant women in residence to waive the rule requirements
The association wants a lead-paint test kit approved before the â€śdust-wipeâ€ť rule is enforced; it also joins a lawsuit to block implementation of Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load regulations
A Forbes columnist highlights differences between some of the most widely used home price indexes
While even production builders are marketing energy efficiency, many in the industry are reluctant to support a bill setting goals for net-zero-energy home performance by 2030
A dust-wipe testing rule would further boost the costs of renovations and repairs involving lead-safe practices, a recent survey indicates. But would it also alleviate liability concerns?
BuildFax data show 18 consecutive months of growth in home remodeling
A survey commissioned by Whirlpool and Habitat for Humanity show consumer focus on energy efficiency as the key feature
A near-zero-energy demo home co-marketed by BASF Corp. and other partners is designed to show concreteâ€™s benefits in shell construction, while a builder in North Carolina pours concrete exterior walls for two homes aiming for Passivhaus certification
Compared to the 2000s, the coming decade for remodelers is expected to feature more stability, and more spending in two key emerging markets, the Joint Center for Housing Studies says
As housing prices near stability in some metropolitan markets, spending on remodeling in those markets is expected to recover at a healthy rate
Although the remodeling industry is still highly fragmented, larger firms have continued consolidate and attract a growing share of jobs
The Joint Center for Housing Studies takes a closer look at how remodelingâ€™s ups and downs over the past decade reshaped the industry for the decade to come
An analysis of remodeling and economic data puts the home-improvement industry on surer footing for 2011-2020. Part 1 offers an overview of a study prepared by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University
A Reed Construction Data economist points out that housing permits are being pulled at relatively high rates in 19 cities, most of them in Texas and the Carolinas
EPA files a complaint against a Maine contractor for violating RRP requirements designed to protect children from exposure to lead-based paint
A â€śre-regulationâ€ť bill moves forward in the House while the new-home market lingers in neutral
Marketing for Dow Building Solutions' insulation and solar-power products includes another collaboration with Cobblestone Homes, this time for an energy efficient home built for less than $250,000
Economic recovery, and the housing market, wonâ€™t kick into gear without it
Thirteen builders, remodelers, and other industry pros took the honors at the National Green Building Conference
As home prices continue to slip, a market observer looks for trends in the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price indices
Even though builder confidence remains in a holding pattern, starts and existing-home sales in March suggest the market will avoid a plunge â€“ and might even begin trending upward for the long term
With distressed properties continuing to plague the market, why do some observers obsess over new-home inventories? They have plenty of reasons, most of them good ones
The real estate website incorporates its listings data to an interactive map that allows users to zoom in on prices, price-reduction probabilities, and reduction percentages
Big-bank mortgage servicers likely will be required by federal regulators to merely tidy up their still-messy processing, but state attorneys general and some housing advocates want banks to get serious about doing more loan modifications
A Bronze rating goes to one of the first homes in the islands to certify under the NAHB Green building program
Market watchers expect prices to continue to inch down â€“ unless rates start to inch up, prompting fence-sitters to start making offers
KB Home continues its green-features rollout, and NAHB is prepared to explore any and all marketing angles for green-building and green remodeling at its conference in May
Some say the newly proposed risk-retention rules for mortgage lenders are too stringent, although the regulations still wouldnâ€™t apply to most mortgages currently being written â€“ those guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie
Australia-based homebuilder Henley Propertiesâ€™ expansion into the U.S., with land purchases and operations underway in the Seattle area, takes a position in a tough market
Homebuilders discuss the dearth of AD&C credit with lawmakers, while home prices sink and the Treasury prepares to sell mortgage-backed securities. Still, thereâ€™s hope for the spring home-buying season
The homebuilding industry pauses to analyze the home buying expectations of Gen X
The Federal Reserve holds rates steady and the NAHB says builder confidence inched up, but Robert Shiller calls talk of the Fannie/Freddie wind-down discouraging
A recent survey of industry professionals indicates a trend toward fewer square feet and more low-e windows and engineered wood
A soon-to-be-released document for builders and remodelers includes strategies for identifying and dealing with drywall that off-gasses reduced-sulfur compounds
The homebuilder association says 2,000 projects nationwide have been certified under the National Green Building Standard
Open to a wide range of professionals in the multifamily industry, the 2011 edition of the competition includes five new award categories
If a 20% down payment becomes a requirement for a loan guarantee, can the housing market still thrive? Privatization hawks think so. But other credit-related issues will need attention first
NAHB makes another pitch for easier credit based on a study highlighting predicted increases in household formation, a principal driver of housing demand
BuildFax data shows signs of life in the remodeling sector, while a recent Mortgage Bankers Association survey suggests the foreclosure tide will begin receding by the end of the year
Using RESNETâ€™s HERS Index rating system and local utility rates, the homebuilder presents prospective buyers with an energy-cost estimate based on the home's design
Itâ€™s too early to tell what approaches will be used to wind down Fannie and Freddie and to possibly revise mortgage-interest tax subsidies, but housing industry will be watching closely
Pressure to reckon with the two government-sponsored enterprises is yielding ideas, and illustrating how difficult it will be to come up with a satisfactory solution
Introduced on KB Home prototypes last fall, the specially treated roof tile is now being offered by KB in developments in Southern California
The market outlook in many remodeling categories edges up as more homeowners show interest in moving ahead with upgrades
With help from a tax credit in California, sales in the West lift the overall numbers for December. But will any of it echo into 2011?
The agencyâ€™s new hotline and website allow small-business owners, including builders, to register concerns about credit availability
Itâ€™s in the very early going, but all corners of the homebuilding and remodeling industries seem unlikely to escape completely unscathed
Maintaining affordability is the key factor for many NAHB members who design and construct their projects to meet the DOEâ€™s Builders Challenge requirements
Removing blight from a foreclosed home may mean more than a thorough remodel. Sometimes, some sellers and buyers say, spiritual blessings or exorcisms are in order
As the EPA imposes new total-maximum-daily-load rules in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, NAHBâ€™s concerns grow about the prospects for more-stringent permitting, offset rules, and reporting requirements
Itâ€™s too early to tell how the two government-sponsored enterprises will be transformed, but the outcome will likely have a significant impact on borrowers
Using the PMI Risk Index, SmartMoney.com highlights five locations that present the lowest risk of a price drop over the next two years
Commercial lending is showing signs of growth for the first time in two years, and steady, if incremental, growth is expected for 2011
The update of NAHBâ€™s National Green Building Standard will include member participation in the standardâ€™s Consensus Committee and a variety of Task Groups
With the second stimulus package approved, corporations flush with cash, and spending up, economists and consumers are feeling better about prospects for economic growth. Will it help housing?
Amid the downturn, small builders have gained single-family market share while big builders acquired land and reduced production
The new tax package extends, through 2011, the $2,000 credit for newly built homes that use no more than half the energy of those conforming to the 2003 national model energy code. Consumers get breaks too
Once you get a look at the New American Home for 2011, the other homes displayed in Show Village will seem modest by comparison, but no less interesting
A University of Toronto analysis of smoking-related discussions in Fine Homebuildingâ€™s Breaktime forum cites ongoing tension between smokers and nonsmokers, but also acknowledges that addressing the issues can get complicated
Calvert Investments surveys the 10 largest publicly traded homebuilders on their efforts to integrate sustainability and improved resource conservation into their offerings
The housing industry maintains its opposition to the panelâ€™s proposed limitations on mortgage eligibility for the MID. But for the time being, those proposals face a more immediate threat: a stubbornly sluggish economy
The Home Energy Management initiative is being designed to create a stronger identity for GEâ€™s suite of appliances and energy-use tracking tools
Homeowners complain of water damage, while home-inspection contractors point to improperly installed and poorly maintained block, a local TV station reports
With mortgage rates below 5%, more than 70% of new and existing homes are, for the seventh straight quarter, ranked affordable for families earning the median income
Although access to consruction financing continues to be a problem, NAHBâ€™s Housing Market Index and McGraw-Hillâ€™s Outlook Report show slivers of light
Given the trends in population growth and the need to replace old inventory with new homes, the new-home deficit continues to grow. The question is, when will demand rebound enough for it to matter?
The association also highlights data showing decent return on investment, despite the downturn, for buyers who stay in their homes for eight years or more before selling
A leading economist predicts shifts in commercial and industrial lending that mean easier credit for small businesses
Remodeling Market Index stays put as NAHB reminds consumers tax credits are about to expire for energy-efficiency improvements; meanwhile, Meritage reports a third-quarter profit and the Labor Department reports an employment jump for October
The revival of the housing market, led this time around by employment gains, will unfold over next 18 to 24 months, economists say
New-home sales in September edge up, as does consumer confidence in October
With public comment about to open on interim federal requirements for appraisers, the homebuilding industry hopes clarity and fairness will prevail
Billings for residential projects were unchanged, but commercial and industrial specialties drove the index to its best score since early 2008
An analysis of Census Bureau data on housing starts shows that the median size of new single-families has declined since 2006 and, for a large segment of the market, is unlikely to climb back up significantly when the recession ends
Once again, Martha Stewart has teamed up with the builderâ€™s designers, this time to create the look and feel of the first net-zero energy residence in the Builder Magazine Concept Home series
The NAHB Remodelersâ€™ Homes for Life Awards highlight accommodations for aging in place and physical impairment
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab studied the subject for weatherization program administrators. One tip when talking to homeowners: avoid the work retrofit
Last monthâ€™s Remodeling Show attendees focused on timeless advice for adapting to new markets, taking on smaller jobs, and making business management skills a priority
Home buyers say theyâ€™re as satisfied as theyâ€™ve ever been with new-home builders and new-home quality, according to a recent J.D. Power study
With data showing that the first-time-buyer segment is growing, more builders are constructing smaller homes that are priced for first-time budgets
August sales of both new and existing homes simmer on low, although the market appears more stable; â€ścash-in refinancingâ€ť offers hope for the underwater crowd
The American Institute of Architects Design Trends Survey for the second quarter shows ongoing client interest in home performance improvements
Multifamily builders and rental brokers see stabilization in demand in many metro markets
Taking a glass-half-full perspective on mortgage purchase applications; also, Associated Materials is purchased by a San Francisco investment firm
NAHB seeks to counter perceptions that the benefits of homeownership are dwindling, while a business columnist suggests that home values, which are returning to their historically close alignment with average income, donâ€™t have that much further to fall
Where is the bottom of the market? Absent another homebuyer tax credit, but with improvement in the employment picture, we might finally find out
The builder continued to acquire options on land purchases because prices are down. Meanwhile, the builderâ€™s stock price climbs as NAR reports modest pending-sales improvement for July
As women exert increasing influence on homebuying decisions, builders can take specific steps to leverage their marketing efforts
A major bond fund urges Fannie and Freddie to allow smaller down payments; NAHB cites concerns with a proposal to shift housing subsidies from homeownership to rentals
With the numbers showing that July sales swooned, inventory grew, and prices flattened, the housing marketâ€™s sour mood stays in its holding pattern
Foreclosures continue to squelch demand, prolonging the malaise in single-family starts and the Housing Market Index
Prompted by a lawsuit filed by NAHB and the Small Business Administration, the EPA agrees to rework limitations on construction site effluent
A utility watchdog in North Carolina touts solar as an economically viable alternative to nuclear power, while a Florida politician highlights solarâ€™s jobs-generating potential
Analysts say thereâ€™s nowhere to go but up â€“ or sideways
A case in Michigan serves as a reminder that encounters with potentially hazardous materials are common for retrofitters, including those working under the Weatherization Assistance Program
Researchers at Stanford explore concepts for a solar cell that uses both photons and thermal energy for electricity generation
Blue Line Innovationsâ€™ PowerCost Monitor is designed to track Hohm subscribersâ€™ energy use by the second
A tribute to residential design excellence, the awards program is open to builders, architects, remodelers, designers, developers, land planners and interior designers
With mandatory compliance set to begin January 1, the ICC releases a key portion of the statewide code and announces upcoming training and certification programs
Results for June suggest theyâ€™ve at least stabilized. Industry pros and investors donâ€™t seem particularly surprised thereâ€™s no uptick
As Generation Y segues from renting to homebuying, women and certain minority groups are expected to drive demand, a research firm says
Expanded coverage for energy efficiency upgrades and environmental improvements
In Columbus, Ohioâ€™s housing market low mortgage rates, the $8K tax credit, and diminished interest in waiting for prices to bottom have real estate pros talking about a possible thaw in the market.
Samuel Matchett, who in 1999 purchased the first home built under the EarthCraft House program, was drawn to the house primarily because he liked its design. Its energy efficiency and construction quality were icing on the cake.
Red Rock Builders, based in Edmond, Oklahoma, partnered with the city to build an Energy Star-rated home that will be used as a showcase for sustainable, energy efficient residential construction in Central Oklahoma.
Economists and housing analysts have become mordantly adept at extracting optimism (and pessimism) from the recession's hard-boiled statistics.
House Republicans suggest a $5K credit help borrowers cover refinancing closing costs, up to $15K in tax credit for homebuyers, and a tax break for investors who buy distressed homes and rent them out.
Economists expected a decline in new-home sales for last month, but Commerce Department figures show a 4.7% increase. The reality is, though, this happened as the median price fell 18% year over year.
The government's refinancing program is aimed at first mortgages, but the Treasury Department still needs to come up with a way to satisfy lenders holding second liens. Also, NAHB summarizes builder concerns over unemployment and multifamily housing.
Japanese artist Arakawa and his wife, Madeline Gins, who say their intentionally disorienting housing designs prolong occupantsâ€™ lives by keeping them challenged, face a serious challenge of their own after losing their live savings to Bernie Madoff.
If private investors buy into the governmentâ€™s program for clearing troubled assets from big banks, builders, buyers, and the housing market in general could benefit.
A product of collaboration between NAHB and the International Code Council, the "National Green Building Standard" describes green practices for all phases of residential development and construction.
Once a niche market, auctions of in-default or foreclosed properties nowadays attract not only veteran contractors and other investment pros but plenty of newcomers (who might soon need a contractorâ€™s help).
That beater youâ€™re driving? It could become metal studs for green housing. Also, a green-building supply manufacturer opens a plant in North Carolina.
The more consumers learn about tax credits for energy efficiency upgrades, the more likely theyâ€™ll be to take advantage of them before the credits time out.
The industry group says promoting the tax credit for first-time buyers could be the most potent way for builders to clear off excess inventory.
Big builders concerned with Jerry Howardâ€™s stance on a long-sought tax break proposal met with NAHB leaders this week to address the issue. The upshot: Both sides agreed to set aside differences for now and resume talks soon.
The Commerce Department reported a 22.2% increase in construction of new homes and apartments as attention turns to strategies for freeing up credit.
The NAHB/Well Fargo Housing Market Index for March matched the HMI for February as homebuilders hold out hope for the stimulus package and spring selling season.
In April, California-based New Home Inc. plans to open the first of eight showrooms featuring green supplies and services for homeowners, builders, and remodelers. Company CEO Rich Rifkin says the stores will take on long-established competitors.
Joe Robson tells a House committee that more efficiency and continuity need to be introduced to the operation of residential mortgage markets.
RealtyTrac says foreclosure filings in February climbed 30% over those during the same period in 2008. And with unemployment still on the rise, it remains uncertain the housing plan will do much in the short term to tame the foreclosure rate.
While most residential construction still takes place on the edges of suburbia, permits for housing in many of the nationâ€™s most populous cities have been on the increase since 2002.
Selling new houses nowadays is challenging enough, but in many markets builders are also dealing with serious price competition from foreclosure listings.
A contraction of about 16% is forecast for 2009, but the market for green roofing products is growing.
The House minority leader Democrats have been calling â€śMr. Noâ€ť says Republicans will offer their housing proposal later this week. Yes, please. Anything that might add a good idea or two to the mix is welcome.
The American Wood Protection Association says some builders may be under the impression the preservatives are AWPA-approved, but the group says it has not evaluated them.
The man who made his fortune in oil and gas will bring his crusade for alternative energy to attendees at the 11th Annual NAHB National Green Building Conference.
Auction prices may help us determine where the market bottom is. One auction underway just across the Bay Bridge from San Francisco features 19 townhomes originally priced in the $530,000 range. Minimum bids start at $179,000.
Home show presenter American Consumer Shows launched a Web site this week that the company says will help homeowners find, review, and hire home improvement professionals.
Yes, the market is slow, but many residential building professionals in Connecticut are not burdened with excessive inventory, and sales prices are not being slashed dramatically.
It's too early to tell how many borrowers will respond to the housing plan, whose details were released this week. But loan servicers could be swamped.
PennyMac is buying distressed mortgages at deep discounts, renegotiating many of them to help borrowers avoid foreclosure, and making a lot of money in the process. What's interesting is that PennyMac is run by former top Countrywide executives.
By cutting expenses the luxury homebuilder pared its fiscal first-quarter loss by about 7% compared with the same period a year ago. But its revenue came in about 4% short of analyst predictions.
The New Mexico town recently adopted green building code based on Home Energy Rating System standards for residential construction and LEED standards for commercial buildings.
Believe it. One of San Franciscoâ€™s premiere arts showcases is selling $150 tickets to a fund-raising raffle whose grand prize is a $2.4 million home.
The National Association of Realtorsâ€™ index of pending home resales took a deeper than expected dive, but Bernanke is taking a positive, long-term view of the stimulus plan.
The troubled banking giant announced a program on Tuesday designed to give unemployed borrowers some breathing room as they hunt for jobs and try to recover financially.
Credit reporting agency TransUnion says mortgage delinquencies in the fourth quarter increased by more than 50% over those for the same period in 2007.
Robert Millay self-financed construction of 20 homes that went on the market -- and sold -- during a three-day weekend last spring. He'll roll out another 36 homes during a weekend in May, and fully expects to sell them all before the weekend is over.
It's too early to tell what parts of the recovery and budget plans will work, but not too early for assessments from industry experts and newsroom commentators.
The recession is driven by so many complex factors, economists are having an increasingly tough time predicting when housing will finally hit bottom.
The Commerce Department's report on new-home sales in January shows record drops in sales and prices.
President Obama is urging Congress to quickly approve a measure that would give bankruptcy judges authority to modify mortgages to prevent foreclosure, but many Republicans in the Senate are fiercely opposed to the idea.
In his second day of testimony on Capitol Hill, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said problems in the housing market are severe enough to warrant the sweeping scope of the housing plan.
Buyer uncertainty dragged down January's sales rate of existing homes, the National Association of Realtors reported on Wednesday.
One obstacle to moving inventory in high-end housing markets is that jumbo loans are now much harder to get, explains The Wall Street Journal. What's more, many of those who already have them won't qualify for the housing plan's refinancing provision.
The S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices points to a record drop in December, while the Fed chief says the current period of economic contraction could end this year.
U.S. governors, who met in Washington over the weekend, had their say about the merits of the stimulus and housing plans, and the housing secretary took to the airwaves on Sunday to defend the housing program.
Plunging prices in many areas of the state helped double sales activity in the fourth quarter, but it's still too early to predict when housing will begin its recovery.
The housing plan announced this week has plenty to recommend it, but also a couple important flaws, says economist Edward Glaeser.
Interior designer Cynthia Leibrock is living the aging-in-place dream in her home in the Colorado Rockies, a showcase and laboratory for universal design.
The Obama administration's foreclosure-prevention program is massive, well received by the financial industry, and, in the months to come, significantly help stabilize the housing market.
With starts and completions at record lows, some economists say, builders may finally be able to trim inventories in the coming months.
As expected, the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, which hit an historic low in January, remained in the single digits in February.
The White House is expected to offer lenders financial help in preventing foreclosures, but lenders also will have to share the cost, and they'll face much more scrutiny in the process.
A program in East Los Angeles helps ex-cons break away from life on the street by training them as solar-panel installers.
Two Florida banks joined big lenders such as Bank of America, Citigroup, and JPMorgan Chase in temporarily halting foreclosures as they await details from the White House on its foreclosure-prevention plan.
A grand jury in Philadelphia charged 15 people with fraudulently selling 82 unoccupied houses to unsuspecting buyers.
Worried about rising energy costs, home buyers are warming to green homes, and builders are responding accordingly, says a recent Wall Street Journal story.
RealtyTrac data show the rate of foreclosure notices dropped from December to January, and regulators want lenders to hold off further until the government's foreclosure-prevention program is implemented. Homebuilders, meanwhile, continue to hold their breath.
Toll Brothers saw a 51% drop in revenue during its first quarter and, although cancellations fell 39%, it weathered a 59% drop in the number of homes under contract, the company said in a preliminary earnings report.
Lack of details led to a tepid reception for the Treasury Secretary's plan, but his presentation did reveal how complicated it will be to get soured mortgage-related assets off banks' balance sheets.
KB Home says it is furthering its sustainable-energy goals by building all new-home communities opening in 2009 and beyond to Energy Star guidelines.
Moodyâ€™s Economy.com predicts housing prices in most metro markets likely will hit bottom by the end of 2009, provided the economic stimulus package is effective.
The Secretary of the Treasury resists imposing tougher rules on banks getting bailout money, but he is offering incentives for them to revive commercial lending and shed soured mortgage-related assets.
Summer storms are rarely kind to Florida, but its worst drubbing came from the housing downturn. Now the state's woes are serving as a backdrop for the president as he campaigns for the stimulus plan.
The governmentâ€™s Hope for Homeowners mortgage aid program has so far helped only a handful of homeowners, mainly because of onerous fees, tight restrictions on who can apply, and heavy reliance on the voluntary cooperation of lenders. Fortunately, the need to address the programâ€™s deficiencies is not lost on Congress or the White House.
President Barack Obama is expected to sign a memorandum that will require the Energy Department to enforce higher efficiency energy standards for household appliances such as dishwashers, lamps, and microwave ovens.
Millard Fuller, who almost three decades ago helped launch Christian homebuilding charity Habitat for Humanity and made it his lifeâ€™s work to preach the â€śtheology of the hammer,â€ť died on Tuesday. He was 74.
D.R. Horton posted a net loss of $62.6 million for the quarter ended December 31, but falling costs at least softened the hit.
There's fevered activity on Capitol Hill as the Senate contemplates the stimulus bill, and measures addressing the housing crises have been dominating the conversation.
As the Senate begins putting its stamp on the stimulus package, it's under pressure to devote substantial resources to housing-market relief.
One of the most important and comprehesive green-construction rating systems for residential builders ever proposed, the ICC/NAHB 700, has been approved by the American National Standards Institute.
Rhode Island is trying to make the most of $19.6 million it received as part of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program passed by Congress last year. It's not an easy task.
Firemanâ€™s Fund Insurance, one of the first insurers to offer green coverage in the U.S., announced this week it is offering green homeowner insurance in Minnesota.
A Harvard economist offers his ideas for improving the foreclosure process.
Existing-home sales saw an unexpected uptick in December, but the month was far less kind to new-home sales, which fell 14.7%, according to data released Thursday by the Commerce Department.
The National Association of Home Builders International Buildersâ€™ Show, which featured exhibits by more than 1,600 companies, attracted 60,000 attendees to Las Vegas last week, about a third fewer than attended the show in 2008.
Investors responded to news of widespread layoffs by erasing the morningâ€™s triple-digit gains on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. But by the closing bell, the DJIA landed with a modest gain, mostly because the National Association of Realtorsâ€™ news about Decemberâ€™s home sales had calmed nerves.
Weâ€™ve had plenty of time to digest the fact that many of the big banks that received billions under the Troubled Asset Relief Program didnâ€™t respond as government officials hoped. Mainly, most of the big banks that got money havenâ€™t increased lending.
Home Depot announced that it will trim 7,000 jobs and close its 34 Expo Design Centers, five YardBIRDs stores, two Design Centers, and seven HD Bath stores.
There are still too many houses on the market, foreclosures continue to mount, and prices are still dropping, but at least December saw a better-than-expected uptick in sales of existing homes, which prompted a rally in shares of some of the nationâ€™s big homebuilders.
As part of a campaign encouraging consumers to change their furnace air filters regularly, home warranty provider American Home Shield is hosting a contest intended to find Americaâ€™s dirtiest air filters.
Log homes are so much a part of the aesthetic and historical fabric of mountain living, it is hard for some homeowners and builders to embrace innovations intended to minimize use of a key log-home material: wood.
Itâ€™s too early to tell whether this part of the residential real estate machinery has actually hit bottom, but refinancing and foreclosure-mitigation are small first steps toward eventual housing-market recovery.
Housing starts in December and jobless claims last week set records. Unfortunately.
With prices falling and lenders off-loading foreclosed properties at deep discounts, few want to pay "retail" for a new home, so builders have put the brakes on new construction.
Tuesday was a day of sober reminders about the challenges ahead, first from President Obama in his inauguration speech, and then from a panel of housing experts at the International Buildersâ€™ Show who said 2009 likely will be when the housing market hits bottom.
While the largest builders likely have enough cash to weather the downturn, thatâ€™s not true for many of the small and medium-size builders, who account for about 70 percent of new-home construction. NAHB estimates that at least 20,000 builders â€” about a fifth of the total nationwide â€” have closed up shop in the last two years.
If the current storm of economic misery is good for nothing else, it might at least produce an environmental windfall by boosting use of solar panels.
The loose requirements in the original plan have contributed to confusion over what the Treasury Department intended when it abruptly shelved its first proposal â€” to buy up bad mortgages â€” in favor of making direct investments in individual banks in return for preferred shares of stock.
It wasnâ€™t all that long ago that Wall Homes was celebrated as one of the fastest-growing privately held homebuilders in the Dallas area. . .On Saturday, the Dallas Morning News reported, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Many pool and spa operators say they are still waiting for deliveries of pool-drain covers that are now required by federal law and designed specifically to prevent people from being trapped underwater by drain suction.
The fact that there are swindlers who prey on homeowners trying to avoid foreclosure shouldnâ€™t come as a surprise. But considering the desperation of many such homeowners, the rapaciousness of the fraudsters, who usually demand upfront fees for foreclosure-mediation services they never render, is especially revolting.
The Fed has already pumped plenty of liquidity into the financial system, which lead us to conclude that the first priority needs to be housing-market stability. In other words, foreclosure relief.
If there ever was a time when affirmations were needed by those in the homebuilding business, this is probably it. Which is why thereâ€™s a propitious tone to the National Center for Construction Education and Researchâ€™s newly announced marketing campaign to â€śrevive the meaning and importance of craftsmanship in the construction industry.â€ť
The Portland Cement Association forecasts a â€śsignificantly weakâ€ť market for cement over the next two years, in part because public construction, which accounts for about half the cement used nationwide, has slowed along with the rest of the economy.
With housing issues so much on everyoneâ€™s mind, the housing secretary nominee, Shaun Donovan, became a person of especially intense interest during his confirmation hearing this week before members of the Senate banking committee. The good news is that the attention was positive.
In line with the past several months of housing-market misery, closings and orders for Beazer Homes USA continued their decline during the companyâ€™s first quarter, which ended December 31.
Democrats who control Congress and the Obama transition team both seem to understand that the Hope for Homeowners program has serious flaws. Now what?
Residential developer and multifamily investor Tarragon Corporation announced that it and some of its subsidiaries have filed a petition to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code.
A profile published Monday by The Wall Street Journal offers a more detailed look at former National Association of Realtors chief economist David Lereahâ€™s post-NAR perspective and his attempts to rebuild his reputation and revive his career.
Homebuilder Lennar Corporation on Monday issued a statement denying allegations that its chief operating officer had received a mortgage on his home from the company and saying the company had never treated its joint ventures like a Ponzi scheme.
If youâ€™re loud, obnoxious, and wrong about which team will win the Super Bowl, you lose your wager and look like a chump for a day or so. But if you boldly predicted the housing market wouldnâ€™t take a dive â€“ in the face of mounting evidence that serious trouble was brewing â€“ you have a different sort of ignominy to deal with.
All too often, lending practices that accompanied well-intentioned initiatives to encourage homeownership among Hispanics erred toward the expedient rather than the prudent.
Citigroup, with the backing of the National Association of Home Builders, has struck a deal with Democratic leaders in the Senate to endorse legislation that would allow judges to set new repayment terms for mortgage holders who wind up in bankruptcy court.
Pulte Homes, which had entered the Long Island, New York, housing market almost seven years ago, recently sold all six of the communities it owned there to a local developer.
Cisco Systems, the technology company best known for computer routers, switches, and other network hardware, launched their â€śentertainment operating systemâ€ť in prototype form this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
When is being right the same as being wrong? When youâ€™re an economist predicting correctly but too early â€“ and in the face of reasoned opposition â€“ that something is seriously out of whack.
Job losses and other weaknesses throughout the economy finally dented the National Association of Realtorsâ€™ Pending Home Sales Index, which had been relatively stable during most of 2008 but declined 4%, to 82.3, in November from 85.7 in October.
The Obama team has been soliciting donations to help pay for the inauguration. One of the incentives to donate is the chance to win tickets to the welcoming ceremony, the swearing-in, the parade, and one of the inaugural balls.
Itâ€™s one thing for Congress to pass energy-conservation tax incentives for homeowners, it's another to make sure homeowners know about them. Thatâ€™s where the Tax Incentives Assistance Project comes in.
The forecast for 2009 includes wind, rain, sleet, snow, sun, and moderate, hot, and cold temperatures, with occasional hurricanes and tornadoes. And thatâ€™s just the economic forecast.
Forbes.com released a transcript of housing-related comments by five participants in the annual forecast meeting of the Forbes.com Investor Team.
Making eco-friendly carpet â€“ with an eye to how the material will be handled once the user is ready to replace it â€“ is full of challenges, and carpet often doesnâ€™t rank high on the list of green floor coverings. But that doesnâ€™t mean the companies that make carpeting arenâ€™t striving for a greener product.
Aiming to tap the renovation market, home improvement specialist Just Moulding announced this week that sold its first franchise, in Boston, and is now offering franchise opportunities to prospects nationwide.
The FHA relies on 24-year-old computer programs and lots of hand processing for applications that often weigh in at 150 to 200 pages each.
To almost no oneâ€™s surprise, home prices in October dropped in all 20 of the metropolitan areas tracked by the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price indexes, Standard & Poorâ€™s said in a report released today.
Itâ€™s still too early to tell exactly how much damage so-called option adjustable-rate loans will do to the housing market, mainly because the payments on many of the more than 2 million of option ARMs sold wonâ€™t reset for at least a couple more years.
The wave of foreclosures in Californiaâ€™s Central Valley, parts of the Southwest, and Florida has created untold misery. But it also has left some skateboarders deliriously happy.
Weâ€™ve done a fair amount of ranting about the importance of foreclosure prevention, but also realize weâ€™ve neglected an aspect of the process that is critical to its success: modifying loans to minimize risk of re-default.
Itâ€™s fair to say that housing got its lump of coal well before the holiday season began and that the path to redemption has been strewn with, well, more lumps of coal.
For some people â€“ a lot of them, actually â€“ low interest rates are mortgage-loan catnip.
The pace of existing home sales plunged a record 8.6 percent in November.
Hindsight can be brutal when it spotlights ignored warnings and missed opportunities, but it plays an especially prominent and unforgiving role in The New York Timesâ€™ recently published chronicle of events leading up to the economic meltdown.
The National Association of Home Builders and Fix Housing First are making sure no Congressional ear goes unbent before the next administration is sworn in.
Expanding its product lineup and strengthening its reach in North America, Bosch Groupâ€™s Power Tools division acquired parts of power-tool accessories specialist Freud Group.
Although it is best known as the guardian of the nationâ€™s food supply, the USDA insured $7 billion in home loans during the 2008 fiscal year. The advantages of the USDA program are not lost on homebuilders. . .
With as much as $50 billion lost to Bernard Madoffâ€™s alleged Ponzi scheme, there was bound to be fallout in the real estate market.
Lennar Corporationâ€™s fiscal fourth quarter ended with an $811 million loss, the builderâ€™s seventh consecutive loss, as its fortunes continued to parallel general economic trends.
Even if they havenâ€™t hit bottom, housing prices in some parts of the country have dropped to the point where they are routinely described as â€śaffordable.â€ť Whatâ€™s significant about that is the description isnâ€™t an exaggeration.
The quarter, which ended October 31, was Hovnanian Enterprises' ninth consecutive to show a loss. The company is the nationâ€™s sixth-largest homebuilder.
Housing starts go where builder confidence goes, and right now the two are trolling the depths.
The man currently serving as New York Cityâ€™s housing commissioner, Shaun Donovan, will lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development under the new administration.
Loan modification programs and laws designed to delay the foreclosure process have helped lower the foreclosure rate. The problem is, the number of loan defaults and foreclosure auctions is predicted to increase next year, right along with unemployment.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but economic recovery proposals often are as much about political ideology as they are about developing sensible programs and policies.
Fix Housing First, NAHB's coalition of housing advocates, has been at the forefront in calling for the government to implement housing stimulus measures that can be applied broadly and, if the coalition is correct, yield positive results relatively quickly.
Program oversight is critical, but how does an agency oversee programs that have thousands of players and many more thousands of clients?
The recession has hit not only homebuilders but also their primary advocates, including the National Association of Home Builders, which on Tuesday announced job and budget cuts intended to save the association $11.5 million in 2009.
Forecasting market behavior is a demanding exercise, but it also is an instructive one because it can highlight trends, successes, and setbacks in useful ways.On Tuesday, for example, real estate...
Robert I. Toll, chairman and chief executive, believes a less crowded playing field, combined with attractive long-term demographics, will reward those well-capitalized builders who can persevere through the current challenging environment.
Many baby boomers are resisting retirement-home living in favor of adapting their current homes to their â€śaging in placeâ€ť needs â€“ a pattern that could bode well for remodelers.
Paslode has determined that a small percentage of tall red fuel cells designed for use in Paslode cordless framing nailers can leak fuel when the metering valve is attached to the fuel cell, which can result in a potential fire hazard.