The elections are past us, and newly elected officials will soon be assuming office.  It is important that each of us continues to tell our story to them - Homeownership is the Foundation of the American Dream.  For many people, owning a home is part of their American Dream.  Homeownership builds stronger communities, provides a solid foundation for family and personal achievement and improves the quality of life for millions of people. It is truly the cornerstone of the American way of life.

Most Americans consider homeownership to be the single best long-term investment and a primary source of wealth and financial security. In good times and in bad, the opportunity to own a home has been a cherished ideal and a source of pride, accomplishment, social stability and peace of mind.

We also need to let our elected officials know that homeownership is a major driver of the economy.  Fully 15 percent of the U.S. economy relies on housing, and nothing packs a bigger local economic impact than home building. According to NAHB, constructing 100 new single-family homes creates 297 full-time jobs, $28 million in wage and business income and $11.1 million in federal, state and local tax revenue.

A healthy housing industry means more jobs and a stronger economy. Home building increases the property tax base that supports local schools and communities.

So knowing this, what are our challenges?

First, regulatory reform on all levels has to be curtailed. On average, nearly 25 percent of the cost of a single-family home is attributable to government regulation. Equally disturbing, the cost of regulation in the price of a new home is rising twice as fast as the average American’s ability to pay for it.

Second, workforce development is critical.  We need immigration reform that will not only safeguard our borders, establish a fair verification system, but also create a market-based visa system that will allow more immigrants to legally enter the construction workforce as the housing industry gains momentum and the demand for workers increases.

Lastly, as we look forward, there are signs that conditions in the housing market should show continued improvement in the coming months. While the economic recovery has been uneven, it continues to add jobs, a key driver for housing market recovery.  Low-interest rates, rising wages and post-bubble house prices that have settled back to normal in most of the country means that housing affordability is high in many markets.

NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz recently gave the following analysis: “A growing economy and rising incomes, combined with increasing household formations, should boost demand for new single-family homes moving forward. However, housing affordability is a growing challenge as builders face overly burdensome regulations and rising material costs exacerbated by an escalating trade skirmish. Interest rates are also forecast to keep rising. Moreover, there could be market volatility in the months ahead as communities grapple with the aftershocks of Hurricane Florence. Still, the overall housing market should continue modest growth this year, fueled by increasing demand among millennials and other newcomers.”

So with my crystal ball in place, all signs point to now is the “time to buy.”  We will have a little market stability as we always do when the elections are in the rearview mirror.  Forecast of higher interest rates means the best rate available is now.  We just need to continue to tell our story to the elected officials that housing is key to a solid economy.

Special Thank You.

Thank you to all who supported Build PAC through the year(s).  Once again, Oklahoma on a per capita basis continued to perform beyond expectations.  We once again exceeded our goal.  That means a healthy split-back to our state which sure makes our executive officer Mike Means smile.  So since this is our last issue for 2018 (and last one it seems in magazine format) I want to put a little spotlight on those who helped Oklahoma shine.  If you see these folks, give them a big pat on the back and thank them for their generosity.

Capitol Club – Rusty Appleton, Todd Booze, Connell Curran, Erin Deweese, Kurt Dinnes, Ryan Farabough, Tony Foust, Peter Grant, Dusty Hutchison, Joe Robson, Glenn Shaw, Jeffrey Smith, Rodger Tucker, and Kenyon Woods

Platinum Club – Gene McKown

Gold Key – Rocky Clark, Jeff Click, Marla Esser Cloos, Mike Gilles, Charles Gilmore, Roger Gose, Michael Herndon, Dustin Johnston, Curtis McCarty, Mike Means, Denise Patterson, Tom Pollard, Chuck Ramsay, Dan Reeves, Phil Rhees, David Ritchie, Davis Robson, and Jim Schuff

Oh, and if you don’t know about these clubs, just ask, it is an easy entry for membership.