NAHB issues ‘all-out’ call to Congress
The National Association of Home Builders today announced that the trade group "has initiated an all-out effort to get Congress to pass … stimulus legislation" that includes a temporary home buyer tax credit. The credit is intended to encourage home purchases by first-time buyers.

The trade group has placed ads in The Washington Post, USA Today and Capitol Hill-focused publications Roll Call and Politico in reaching out to members of Congress. In addition to the tax credit, the legislation supported by NAHB also includes provisions related to FHA modernization, reform of government-sponsored mortgage entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and changes to the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, among other items.

California home construction still slow in May
California new-home production in May continued to lag behind last year’s production levels as home builders continued to grapple with low demand due to the glut of foreclosures flooding the market, the California Building Industry Association reported today.

According to housing permit data supplied by the Construction Industry Research Board, total housing starts in California, as measured by building permits issued, fell 37 percent in May when compared to the same month a year ago, to 7,035 units, the highest monthly total of the year thus far. Single-family home production dropped 52 percent while construction of multifamily units dipped 5 percent when compared to May 2007.

In May, permits were pulled for 3,531 single-family homes statewide, down 52 percent from May 2007 but up 4 percent from April to the highest level so far this year. Multifamily housing starts — condos and apartments — totaled 3,504, down 5 percent from May 2007 but up 23 percent from the previous month.

CBIA Chief Economist Alan Nevin noted that the prospect of a major recovery by the end of the year is looking less and less likely as demand for new construction continues to wane in the face of the ongoing foreclosure crisis.


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