Sales of New US Homes Jumped in May, Marking First Gain This Year

June 27, 2022
Reade Pickert - Bloomberg

Sales of new US homes jumped in May, reflecting gains in the West and South and interrupting a months-long skid as the residential real estate market adjusts to rising borrowing costs and still-elevated prices.

Purchases of new single-family homes increased 10.7% to an annualized 696,000 pace, the first gain this year, government data showed Friday. The figure followed an upwardly revised 629,000 in April. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 590,000 rate.


What Does Affordable Housing Do to Nearby Property Values?

June 20, 2022
Sarah Holder - Bloomberg

In September 2020, the city council of Alexandria, Virginia, met to discuss whether to move forward with an affordable housing project. On a few acres in the city’s residential West End neighborhood, a developer proposed to build townhouses and condos priced for first-time homebuyers, with a few units reserved for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Neighbors who lived in the single-family homes nearby showed up to the meeting, and they had questions. One of the biggest: What would happen to their property values?


Looking for Lessons in the Rebirth of a Neglected Toronto Neighborhood

June 13, 2022
Stefanie Marotta - Bloomberg

A new United Nations research hub celebrating lessons in urban rejuvenation has found a home in Toronto’s Regent Park, a milestone for a neighborhood that began as a mid-century “garden city” before suffering decades of neglect and disrepair.

Built after World War II to provide affordable housing for veterans and new immigrants, Regent Park was designed to resemble a rural oasis in Canada’s largest city, with low-rise social housing projects set amidst sprawling green spaces and narrow roads. But the absence of major through-streets discouraged businesses and cut the community off from the downtown core, creating a haven for crime by the 1980s.


Dubai Ruler Approves $1.7 Billion Housing and Land Project

June 6, 2022
Vivian Nereim - Bloomberg

Dubai’s ruler approved a 6.3 billion dirham ($1.7 billion) package of housing and land parcels to benefit more than 4,600 citizens in the emirate, according to the government media office.

The plans involve constructing 1,110 villas and town houses in an area called Al Khawaneej 2 and offering 3,500 plots of land in other areas, the office said in a statement on Sunday. The project in Al Khawaneej 2 -- to be completed in 2025 -- also includes parks, commercial establishments, a sports club and other amenities.


Meritage Homes Named ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year for the Ninth Time

May 30, 2022
Meritage Homes

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., May 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Meritage Homes, the seventh-largest public homebuilder in the U.S., is pleased to announce it has been selected by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year award winner for Sustained Excellence in 2022. This marks the ninth time the homebuilder has received this honor. Meritage Homes was also recognized for its customer service excellence in the 19th annual Avid Awards. Thirteen Meritage divisions were honored, including Southern California, which won the Avid Cup Award - Production.

"It is an honor to be recognized again by both the EPA and Avid," said Phillippe Lord, CEO of Meritage Homes. "These awards demonstrate the Meritage team's hard work and commitment to building better, more sustainable homes while delivering the industry's highest level of customer satisfaction."


CAI Supports New Federal Legislation to Improve Condo Safety

May 23, 2022
Community Associations Institute (CAI)

Falls Church, VA, April 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Community Associations Institute (CAI) applauds U.S. Representatives Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) for introducing the Securing Access to Financing for Exterior Repairs (SAFER) in Condos Act, legislation that will make it easier for condominium owners to afford special assessments for structural and safety repairs. Owners would be able to obtain low-interest loans to fund repairs through two programs guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Download CAI's Condominium Safety Public Policy Report.


Disney Sets Aside 80 Acres in Florida for Low-Cost Housing

May 16, 2022
Christopher Palmeri - Bloomberg

Walt Disney Co. is designating 80 acres of land just outside of its theme-park gates in Orlando, Florida, for affordable housing.

The project, which is expected to include more than 1,300 units, will be available for Disney employees and others who apply, according to a statement released Wednesday. The company will work with a third-party developer specializing in such construction.


Meritage Homes Names Malissia Clinton Its Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary

May 10, 2022
Meritage Homes

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., April 18, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Meritage Homes Corporation (NYSE:MTH), a leading U.S. homebuilder, today announced the hiring of Malissia Clinton as its executive vice president, general counsel and secretary.

"We are pleased to welcome Malissia to Meritage Homes," said Phillippe Lord, chief executive officer of Meritage Homes. "With nearly three decades of legal experience, she brings extensive expertise in managing risk, ethics, compliance and governance matters. I am confident she will be a valuable member of Meritage's executive team from the start."

About Meritage Homes Corporation
Meritage Homes is the seventh-largest public homebuilder in the United States, based on homes closed in 2021. The Company offers a variety of homes that are designed with a focus on entry-level and first move-up buyers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. For more information, visit www.meritagehomes.com.


KWK Architects Helps Universities Conserve Earth’s Resources Through Environmentally Responsible Student Housing Designs

May 2, 2022
KWK Architects

(St. Louis, MO, April 14, 2022) Colleges and universities today are looking for sustainable facilities, and a number of them choose to participate in the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) process to obtain a measurable level of sustainability. KWK Architects recently designed residence halls at the University of Missouri and University of Colorado - Boulder that achieved the highest level of sustainability certification, LEED Platinum.

KWK, along with associate architect Lawrence Group, designed Brooks and Bluford Halls at the University of Missouri in Columbia to achieve a LEED v2009 Platinum certification. While the client requirement for the new 198,000 square-foot, 570-bed residence hall project was LEED Certified minimum, the KWK project team was dedicated to achieving the highest rating within the tight budget, and the team looked to maximize energy efficiency in the buildings to achieve this goal.

For more information about KWK Architects' student housing projects, visit https://www.kwkarchitects.com/markets/details/student-housing.


Canada Wants to Double Home Construction But Needs to Find Workers

April 25, 2022
Brian Platt - Bloomberg

Canada’s housing minister has a daunting target in front of him as his government tries to rein in skyrocketing housing prices: doubling the pace of housing construction in the country within 10 years.

But Ahmed Hussen, who was appointed to the job after last year’s election, says Canada doesn’t have a choice if it wants to keep expanding its economy and attracting skilled immigrants.

“The issue of housing supply is critical to our future success as a country,” Hussen said in an interview with Bloomberg.


U.S. Housing Starts Unexpectedly Rise to Fastest Pace Since 2006

April 19, 2022
Olivia Rockeman - Bloomberg

New U.S. home construction rose unexpectedly in March to the highest level since 2006, boosted by multifamily projects as builders seek to replenish housing inventory.

Residential starts climbed 0.3% last month to a 1.79 million annualized rate from an upwardly revised February figure, according to government data released Tuesday. Applications to build, a proxy for future construction, climbed to an annualized 1.87 million units.


Cloud Apartments: the First Company to Create Modern, Affordable Housing that Simply 'Snaps' Into Place

April 11, 2022
Cloud Apartments

San Jose, CA – Cloud Apartments, a product company that builds a signature line of prefabricated apartments to drive down the cost of housing and drive up the quality for its renters, is creating "smart" affordable housing that 'snaps' into place.

According to Harvard University's State of the Nation's Housing 2020 Report, 37.1 million households were "housing cost-burdened," spending 30% or more of their income on rent. Curtis Wong, Founder and CEO of Cloud Apartments, is hoping to change this by lowering the cost of producing just one housing unit by 30%.

About Curtis Wong, Founder and CEO of Cloud Apartments
Curtis holds Master's degrees from Harvard Business School and Stanford University in structural engineering. His versatile experience includes creating launch pads at SpaceX, engineering numerous buildings in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas, and leading modular housing developments at Starcity.


Building Industry Association of Southern California Hosts 7th Annual OC Women's Leadership Conference

April 4, 2022
The Building Industry Association of Southern California

ORANGE COUNTY, CA. (March 30, 2022) - The Building Industry Association of Southern California (BIASC), a leading advocate for thousands of building industry leaders who are committed to a better future for California by building communities, creating jobs and ensuring housing opportunities for everyone, recently hosted their 7th Annual Orange County Women’s Leadership Conference at the City National Grove of Anaheim.

This annual event was set into motion under the idea of providing a regular opportunity for men and women in homebuilding to gather, share ideas, work together, and ensure that the homebuilding industry remains inclusive and welcoming to all in the years to come. This year was an especially successful conference, with over 500 attendees and three incredibly inspiring keynote speakers.

About BIASC
The Building Industry Association of Southern California (BIASC) is the voice of the regions building industry, with four chapters offering localized services to building professionals from Ventura to the southern tip of Orange County. Throughout its 99-year history, the association has served its builder and associate members by anticipating, protecting and promoting their common interests through its many programs, services, councils and committees. For more information on the Building Industry Association of Southern California, visit https://biasc.org/.


Amsterdam Plans the Netherlands’ First Modern-Day Wooden Neighborhood

March 28, 2022
Feargus O'Sullivan - Bloomberg

Amsterdam confirmed plans this week to build an entire neighborhood out of wood, a renewable material that the region hopes will be key in reducing building emissions.

The new quarter, dubbed the first such neighborhood in a Dutch city in several centuries, reflects a broader commitment by municipalities in Greater Amsterdam in 2020 to ensure that at least 20% of new construction uses wood as its primary material by 2025. The move, the city argues, will do much to reduce the emissions of the construction sector, and possibly provide a model for future wooden developments.


Hong Kong Moves to Ban Construction of Nano Flats by Developers

March 21, 2022
Shawna Kwan - Bloomberg

Hong Kong’s government will ban developers from building nano apartments in a bid to ease the city’s crammed living space.

Private homes will have to be at least 26 square meters (280 square feet), Secretary for Development Michael Wong said at a media briefing on Thursday, extending restrictions to essentially all sources for private residential development. The rule will not affect projects that had already received approvals.


How to Build Super Energy-Efficient Houses

March 14, 2022
Todd Woody - Bloomberg

When Maine builder Jesper Kruse began marketing a type of high-efficiency home called a passive house a dozen years ago, the dwellings appealed mainly to a small cohort of committed environmentalists.

It’s a niche no more. Today, demand for passive houses is rising sharply as homeowners contend with climate-driven extreme weather and governments move to decarbonize buildings, which account for 13% of the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions.

Passive building involves a set of design principles and a certification standard for structures that achieve extreme energy efficiency through construction techniques that seal them in an airtight envelope, reducing energy consumption for heating and cooling by as much as 75%.


To Fix Its Housing Crisis, California Must Unleash the Duplex

March 6, 2022
Emily Hamilton - Bloomberg

California’s Senate Bill 9, which took effect in January, brings new hope to California’s housing crisis. The law circumvents local zoning rules by allowing owners of single-family homes to split their properties into two lots and build two units on each. The first SB9 project will include four new homes on a one-acre, formerly one-house lot in Palo Alto.

But let’s not pretend that the change lets local policymakers off the hook. For decades, California officials have helped ensure that the state is such an expensive place to live by limiting housing construction with their zoning rules and housing approval processes. SB9 will have far more impact if local leaders cooperate with the spirit of the law by relaxing some of the rules that currently make duplexes less attractive to build.


Mass. Commission Tackles How to Decarbonize Buildings

February 28, 2022
Scott Van Voorhis - Engineering News-Record

What to do about natural gas will be one of the biggest—and toughest—challenges facing a new state-appointed commission on decarbonizing the building sector in the Bay State.

ENR may be contacted at enr@enr.com


Canada Lumber Set to Pay Less U.S. Duties as Trade Spat Drags On

February 21, 2022
Jen Skerritt & Eric Martin - Bloomberg

The U.S. is setting duties on Canadian softwood lumber that would effectively lower the punitive tariffs on most producers as the long-simmering trade dispute drags on.

Average preliminary anti-dumping and countervailing duties of nearly 12% will be levied on Canadian softwood lumber producers, the U.S. Department of Commerce said Tuesday in an email. The move follows the government’s decision in late 2021 to raise the combined duty rates on shipments from Canadian companies. Producers such as Canfor Corp. will see combined duty rates drop from nearly 20% to 6.75%, and Resolute Forest Products Inc. will pay duties of 20%, down from nearly 30%. West Fraser Timber Co. will see its rates rise to 13% from about 11%.


Newly Built Homes Make Up Record Share of U.S. Housing Supply

February 14, 2022
Prashant Gopal - Bloomberg

The scarcity of existing houses is so severe in the U.S. that a record share of available properties are now newly built.

About 34% of the country’s single-family inventory in December was new construction, up from 25% a year earlier and more than twice the historic average, according to an analysis by Redfin Corp.

Builders are stepping up production despite supply-chain snarls and rising labor costs. But it’s not enough to make up for the extraordinary scarcity of previously owned houses.


U.S. New-Home Sales Surge Past Estimates, Reach Nine-Month High

February 7, 2022
Olivia Rockeman - Bloomberg

Sales of new U.S. homes rose in December to a nine-month high, indicating firmer demand at the end of 2021 despite high prices and still-limited inventory.

Purchases rose 11.9% from a month earlier to an 811,000 annualized pace, government data showed Wednesday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 760,000 rate, and the December level exceeded all but one forecast.


U.S. Housing Starts Rise Unexpectedly on Multifamily Building

January 31, 2022
Reade Pickert - Bloomberg

New U.S. home construction unexpectedly strengthened in December to the fastest pace in nine months, led by apartment projects and suggesting builders found some success navigating shortages of materials and labor.

Residential starts rose 1.4% to a 1.70 million annualized rate from a 1.68 million pace in November, according to government data released Wednesday. For all of 2021, 1.6 million homes were started, a 15.6% surge from the prior year and the most since 2006.


How the Pandemic Supercharged Sprawl

January 24, 2022
Patrick Sisson - Bloomberg

When Ronnie Martin graduated from high school in Murfreesboro in 1992, the small city in central Tennessee had “the charm of a sleepy town.”

No longer: In the past 30 years, Murfreesboro has exploded in population, growing 20% in just the last five years.

As a banker who does real estate construction lending and a member of the city council (with a former stint on the planning commission), Martin has enjoyed a front-row seat. Growth has transformed strips of farmland lining State Highways 99 and U.S. Route 231 into 200-home developments, which, at the right time of day, boast 40-minute commutes to Nashville. He believes what the city has gained has far outweighed what it lost.


World Trade Center Developer Financing Legacy Miami, First COVID-Conscious, Pandemic-Ready Skyscraper

January 17, 2022
Legacy Miami Worldcenter

MIAMI and NEW YORK, Dec. 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The developer of New York's World Trade Center complex – Silverstein Capital Partners – is now financing construction of the world's first COVID-Conscious designed and Pandemic Ready residential, hotel, and medical center skyscraper at the massive Miami Worldcenter project in downtown Miami.

The 55-story, 671-foot-tall, half-billion-dollar Legacy Residences, Hotel and Medical Tower at Miami Worldcenter is being built by the Miami-based Royal Palm Companies development firm.

The $4-billion, 27-acre Miami Worldcenter is currently America's largest urban core construction project and the nation's second-largest mixed-use real estate development.

RPC says Legacy is being designed with the most-advanced germ-zapping technologies and will be the first all-in-one residential, hospitality and health and well-being facility in the world, according to Royal Palm Companies CEO, Daniel Kodsi.

The August 2021 ground breaking is the first at the Miami Worldcenter since the start of the pandemic and the first in Florida since the Champlain Towers condo-collapse in nearby Surfside, Fla., in June 2021.



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