PUBLISHED BY THE EL PASO ASSOCIATION OF BUILDERS : NATIONAL , STATE AND LOCAL HOME BUILDING INDUSTRY NEWS
NAHB addresses lawmakers about affordability crisis
NAHB NAHB First Vice Chairman Alicia Huey participated in the New Democrat Coalition ' s Housing Roundtable and outlined headwinds facing the housing industry as well as urging lawmakers to enact specific policy solutions to ease the nation ' s housing affordability woes . NAHB First Vice Chairman Alicia Huey Tells Lawmakers How to Address Affordability Crisis Huey cited a number of factors that have considerably slowed home building since the start of the pandemic :
• Building material prices have jumped more than 35 % since January 2020 , and 80 % of that increase has occurred since January 2021 . For example , steel mill prices are twice their January 2021 level , gypsum is up 22 % and exterior paint is up 50 %.
• Skilled trade labor shortages are making housing more expensive and increase the time it takes to build a home .
• Rents are on the rise due to a lack of housing supply , and higher interest rates have pushed the average mortgage rate to 5.9 %, the highest level since 2008 . " In fact , housing affordability has fallen to a decade low ," Huey told lawmakers . " The July median home sales price is $ 428,700 , an increase of $ 58,900 from just a year ago . And seven out of 10 households cannot afford a new , median-priced home ." To combat the growing housing affordability crisis , Huey urged the New Democrat Coalition to call on the Biden administration to suspend tariffs on Canadian lumber and immediately enter into negotiations with Canada on a new softwood lumber agreement . Huey also called on Congress to play an important role on the labor supply issue by ensuring that vocational training opportunities stand on the same footing as a four-year college path . NAHB has also been working closely with lawmakers to highlight how building material production bottlenecks and rising lumber prices are harming home builders and home buyers . Huey specifically noted the efforts of Rep . Norma Torres ( D-Calif .), who has consistently cited the urgent need to resolve America ’ s housing affordability challenges . " Rep . Torres , I want to thank you for the many times you have spoken out on lumber costs and their impact on housing affordability , especially the numerous times you have appeared on the House floor to speak on our behalf ," said Huey .
NAHB First Vice Chairman Alicia Huey with Rep . Norma Torres ( D-Calif .)