August is here! I hope you are enjoying a great summer. Interest rates are putting the brakes on housing starts, as homebuilders recalibrate for an adjusting market. Supplies of new homes are not plentiful, although there remains a lot of demand for homes to buy and for rental properties across the country. Prices are still high and with rising rates shrinking the buyer pool, affordability is a memory in many markets. Sadly, the American dream of home ownership is becoming a daydream for a lot of hard working folks these days.
In a free market economy like ours, the laws of supply and demand govern prices for goods and services, homes included. Other countries, like the UK for example, have recently created massive new housing initiatives, supported by legislation to encourage builders, developers and buyers to build and buy much more housing. In the UK they realized they were heading in the wrong direction and so they corrected the course.
Here in the states legislation is regularly created to discourage, dissuade and deny housing development, often supported and even written by special interests with their own agendas. Some of these folks are NIMBYS, others use wildlife endangerment, sustainability, traffic, parking, schools and infrastructure as their justification for being anti housing. Whatever their reasons, the cumulative effect has created a scarcity of shelter options that has become a crisis in many cities and metros across America.
What we need is bold thinking and a can-do attitude from city planners and legislators to undo 50 years of anti-development sentiment in local government. When did it become popular to be anti-development and why?
In this special issue we recognize The Production Builder 500, presented by our friends at First American Title. These are the largest home builders in the country. Each firm is an entrepreneurial power house that has figured out how to navigate the myriad challenges thrown at them daily, to design, create, develop, construct and market fine homes for American families. We salute them and thank them for their hard work, which serves as an example for us all.
Our publishing team at Builder Media hopes you enjoy this issue of the magazine, #369. We thank you for the privilege of your readership.