Hello Readers in Print and Online;
Now that the first month of 2021 is under our belts, we can begin to breathe a little easier. New home sales are still robust and inventories are challenged across the country. Home building is leading the country out of darkness. Employment remains the big priority after vaccinations. The Fed seems determined to spend us out of more trouble to the best of its considerable ability. Low mortgage interest rates are the best news and incentive for home builders.
Headwinds persist in the form of rising materials costs, led by huge spikes in lumber. NAHB has lobbied Congress for some checks and balances on these fluctuations, which would certainly help planning and budgeting. In the interim we have IBSx, the virtual trade convention to look forward to from Feb. 9 to 12. Our team is looking forward to the event with KBIS and to sharing the exciting things we discover in the coming issues and on the magazine’s website, www.bdmag.com.
Can I let you in on a badly kept secret? We have a 25 year old website. Hard to believe we launched bdmag.com in 1996. We were pleased to see the traffic jump last year and are delighted to welcome newcomers to the website. 13 years ago we launched the first industry e-newsletter, www.builderbytes.com, launching with 50,000 online subscribers. Today, there are 172,000. Look for BuilderBytes to share news on housing economics and data, land, masterplans and the movers and shakers of the U.S. homebuilding industry.
On a personal note, something I want to share that is disappointing to me. I never got the memo. I missed that email. I did not realize until this week that the BIA chapter I have proudly supported for 30 years is no longer supporting NAHB. As a former 5 year board member of BIA SC as a Member from Industry and former 6 year board member for BIA OC, I would like to share my view. For 2 years I was fortunate to be the Associates Chair for BIA SC. I was in a position to advocate for associate members and to discover the important things that mattered most to them. Among the benefits of NAHB is also belonging to your state’s chapter and to the national HQ at NAHB. There are working committees and events available to every member at the state and national level. The Governing BOD of BIA SC decided to stay local back in May 2020. They cut their members off from the head of the organization. I was never invited to weigh in. It was done at a closed door meeting of the Governing BOD.
One hopes that saving those NAHB membership dues has resulted in a huge upside for the handful of participants who decided on this drastic course of action. Were it not for our membership of San Diego BIA I would not be able to participate in NAHB committees and events at all. So thank you to Borre Winckel and the BIA San Diego for keeping it real. NAHB; Do business with a member and thank you for the privilege of your readership.