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The official publication of the EL Paso Association of Builders


  • Sales of newly built, single-family

    homes rose 7.6 percent to a seasonally

    adjusted annual rate of 369,000 units in

    May, according to newly released data

    from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau.

    The relatively strong increase in new-

    home sales this May is an indication that

    more potential home buyers are being

    drawn to the market by todays excellent

    mortgage rates as well as firming

    conditions in some local economies,

    said Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the

    National Association of Home Builders

    (NAHB) and a home builder from

    Gainesville, Fla. In addition, more

    people are recognizing the benefits that

    new homes can provide beyond whats

    available in the existing housing stock in

    terms of energy efficiency, updated

    technology and other features.

    Mays sales report is a welcome sign

    that the market has returned to a more

    solid growth path following lackluster

    reports in March and April, and is in

    keeping with our expectations for

    continued, steady improvement through

    the end of this year, said NAHB Chief

    Economist David Crowe. While the

    current sales rate remains low by

    historical standards and continues to be

    constrained by challenges related to

    credit availability for builders and faulty

    appraisals, the ongoing decline in the

    months supply of new homes will

    necessitate additional construction in

    certain markets going forward.

    Regionally, new-home sales were

    mixed in May. While the Northeast and

    South posted solid gains of 36.7 percent

    and 12.7 percent, respectively, the

    Midwest and West posted respective

    declines of 10.6 percent and 3.5 percent.

    The inventory of new homes for sale

    was almost unchanged at a low level of

    145,000 units in May, reflecting a

    historically slim, 4.7-month supply at the

    current sales pace.

    Single-Family Housing StartsRise 3.2 Percent in May

    Single-family housing production

    increased for a third consecutive month

    and builders pulled more permits for both

    single- and multifamily construction in

    May, according to newly released figures

    from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau.

    The data reveals that the seasonally

    adjusted annual rate of single-family

    housing starts rose 3.2 percent to

    516,000 units the best pace since

    December of 2011.

    Todays report is a good sign that

    builders are cautiously moving to

    replenish their depleted inventories of

    single-family homes in response to

    increasing buyer demand, said Barry

    Rutenberg, chairman of the National

    Association of Home Builders (NAHB)

    and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla.

    In certain housing markets across the

    country, the momentum toward recovery

    is gradually building, though tough credit

    conditions and inaccurate appraisal

    values continue to weigh down that


    The latest data provides evidence of

    the kind of slow but steady growth that

    we expect to see in housing production

    through the end of the year, and shows

    that housing continues to regain strength

    regardless of some weakening in other

    parts of the economy, said NAHB Chief

    Economist David Crowe. Particularly

    encouraging are the gains in permit

    issuance posted in both the single-family

    and multifamily sectors in May, which are

    indicative of builders intentions to start

    new projects in the coming months.

    While overall housing starts posted a

    4.8 percent decline to a seasonally

    adjusted annual rate of 708,000 units in

    May, all of the decrease was on the more

    volatile multifamily side. Single-family

    starts rose 3.2 percent to 516,000 units

    as multifamily starts declined 21.3

    percent to 192,000 units.

    Regionally, dips on the multifamily side

    drove down combined housing starts in

    all but the West, which registered a 14.4

    percent gain. The Northeast, Midwest

    and South posted declines in total

    housing starts of 20.3 percent, 13.3

    percent and 6.1 percent, respectively.

    However, strong gains in new

    permitting activity for both single-family

    and multifamily homes drove the

    combined permitting number for May up

    7.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted

    annual rate of 780,000 units the

    strongest pace since September of 2008.

    Single-family permits were up 4.0

    percent to 494,000 units (best pace since

    March of 2010) while multifamily permits

    gained 15.3 percent to 286,000 units.7

    Three out of four regions posted gains

    in combined permit activity in May. The

    Midwest, South and West posted gains

    of 6.1 percent, 11.1 percent and 10.5

    percent, respectively, while the Northeast

    registered an 8.0 percent decline.

    Builders utlookyears



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    New-HomeSales andStarts onthe rise


    In a special visit by Congressman Quico Canseco, R,

    Texas District 23, members of the association were able to

    have concerns heard and offer suggestions to the legislator.

    Canseco, whose district encompasses a land mass from

    San Antonio to East El Paso along the border made his first

    visit to the EPAB on Friday, June 22. Members were invited

    to the event to show the Congressman concerns with how

    Congress and other Federal agencies were either helping or

    hurting new home construction. The Congressman offered

    no hold barred replies to questions and concerns from the

    audience. I believe that the Federal Government is in many

    ways a hindrance to the private sector, but I also understand

    the need for government involvement in order to keep a

    balance he said with respect to a question on overzealous

    agencies within the federal authority. Make no mistake, I

    fight for home builders every day, and I understand that we

    need to allow builders to build and not put more roadblocks

    Canseco said.

    Questions from the members ranged from immigration to

    the EPA authority and Mr. Canseco took each question and carefully and diligently answered each question put

    forward. I have no doubt that we could use a larger number of elected officials like the Congressman at all levels

    of government, said Bobby Bowling IV. His opinion was echoed by others in the audience including President

    Frank Arroyos and Vice President Edmundo Dena. It was refreshing to hear from a Congressman that he

    understand our concerns and the plight of home building in the country, Arroyos said. I was impressed with his

    common sense answers and thorough knowledge of issues beyond housing, Edmundo Dena said.

    No one was more impressed than Sam Shallenberger who called the visit one of the most important events for

    the association. I think that Congressman Canseco has a great grasp of what we as business people go through

    each day, and he said the right things to the right people. I thought this was one of the best meetings Ive ever

    been in with an elected official, certainly a real treat when the intelligence is translated to common sense, Sam

    said. It truly was a great meeting, said Anthony Mullen of MTI Ready MIX.

    The EPAB presented the Congressman with a logoed association shirt and a cold weather jacket. I will take

    a picture of me in this (the jacket) in front of the Capitol and send it to you, the Congressman told the crowd. The

    association will continue to meet with the Congressman on a regular basis in order to ensure our issues are in

    front of him.

    See more photos of this event on page 8

    Congressman visits El Paso Builders

    The latest data providesevidence of the kind ofslow but steady growth thatwe expect to see inhousing production throughthe end of the year, andshows that housingcontinues to regain strengthregardless of someweakening in other parts ofthe economy.

    -David Crowe.NAHB Chief Economist

  • 2 Builders Outlook 2012/6

  • I want to thank the membership drive teams

    and captains for the hard work getting us the

    98 new members. Nothing compares to

    having new members get involved and going

    with the association. I ask that our seasoned

    members welcome the new crew and mentor

    them to success. This is a momentous time in

    our recovery as housing gets rolling again. We

    must remain vigilant to the upcoming elections

    and ensure that industry friendly candidates

    get elected, and if any of the candidates needs

    info in the importance of housing we can

    accommodate that.

    It was a real treat to have had Congressman Francisco Canseco visit us. We have a true

    housing friend who is watching out for new construction. Thanks to Bobby Bowling IV for getting

    us that visit.

    As I write this, several of us are preparing to attend the NAHB summer meetings in

    Washington D.C. Several issues will be discussed with our area Congressmen and U.S.

    Senators. Recent trends in the economy indicate that the recovery is fragile in many parts of the

    country. In discussions about changes