We recently commissioned an economic study by the economists at the National Association of Home Builders, on the economic impact of housing in Delaware.
They prepare two reports:
1. The Economic Impact of Home Building in Delaware: Comparing Costs to Revenue for State and Local Governments, and
2. The Economic Impact of Home Building in Delaware: Income, Jobs, and Taxes Generated
(click each title for a copy of the report)
Did you know that each new home built in Delaware creates over 4 permanent new jobs in Delaware, in the year the home is built. And one additional permanent new job for each year afterwards.
Currently, the process to turn over open space in New Castle County is problematic. This is not meant as a disparaging comment to County land use officials, as the process is widely viewed as needing remediation and improvement.
Toward that end, the Home Builders Association of Delaware is forming a committee which will springboard off a series of workshops the County held, to look at the process so that we can prepare and submit proposed recommended changes to the Code.
A committee will be formed shortly. Anyone wanted to participate should contact HBADE at email@example.com.
Last week we had 2 special tasks/events which demonstrate how we continue to look out for our members.
First, we will be participating with New Castle County, they invited us and the engineers (ACEC Delaware) to a workshop later this month to help review and update several development requirement checklists (sediment and stormwater submissions, record plan engineering checklist, and retaining wall checklists). By having a say in the checklists, we can help ensure that requirements are fair and reasonable, and help improve the land development plan.
Our other, we attended a Public Service Commission meeting last Thursday afternoon, where they agreed to develop a process and procedure for water companies to notify developers when there may be additional offsite costs related to new projects. These costs, called Category 1B costs, are known as Contributions in Aid of Construction (CIAC), and are the offsite facility costs directly assignable to a specific project. Recently there was a project in which the communications of these CIAC costs did not occur and the developer faced several hundred thousand dollars of unforeseen CIAC costs, after the fact, for a new project. As HBADE and several of our members have been involved with this matter over the last several months, the PSC has agreed to forward a draft of the proposed order for our input.
NAHB Designee and Educator of the Year Nominations:
Members: time to nominate yourself or someone deserving in the NAHB Designee and Educator of the Year. Just a short nomination period but very much do-able.
Nominations and self-nominations may be submitted via the following links:
Designee of the Year: www.nahb.org/DOYnomination
Educator of the Year: www.nahb.org/EOYnomination
Additional nomination information may be found at www.nahb.org/educationawards.
The deadline for nominations is September 15.
A list of past honorees may be viewed here.
In addition, a list of active designees may be viewed via our website at www.nahb.org/designationsdirectory or request a listing by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you should have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Jaclyn Toole or Crystal Floyd directly at NAHB at (800) 368-5242 ext. 8148 or email@example.com.
Kent County Comprehensive Plan:
Members be sure to take a look at the Kent County comprehensive plan website and Facebook page, to be in the know! The County updates the story maps every Tuesday.
Another link/location is here.
ACEC/DE Presents Joe Max Higgins:
Members: Our friends at ACEC Delaware are bringing in Joe Max Higgins in early October. You should consider attending this, a great discussion on economic development in Delaware.
Here’s a video of the rebroadcast and the registration info follows.
Click Here to learn more or to register
Electrical, Plumbing and HVAC Issues
Builders and Remodelers – are you finding it more expensive and difficult to get your mechanical subcontractor trades on the job?
Electric, plumbing and HVAC subs members – are you finding it harder to staff your builder-clients jobsites due to onerous and unreasonable licensing regulations, or getting timely inspections?
An issue arose last week that could impact availability and timing of electrical subcontractors to perform timely work for homebuilders and remodelers. And we hear it might be coming to the plumbing and hvac trades as well.
At issue are Delaware licensing laws to allow electrical journeypersons, already licensed in adjoining States, to perform their craft in Delaware of procedural, State requirements.
The issue now is there is that we are in prime construction season and electrical contractors are not able to bring in journeypersons from adjoining states to alleviate the workload on a timely basis. With high demand and a shortage of ready workers (that are otherwise qualified but don’t meet the technical licensing requirements), the result will be higher costs to obtain electrical services. If builders cannot absorb the additional costs, home prices will increase and housing affordability will be lessened.
Look for a member survey from us about electric and plumbing and hvac licenses and inspections. This will help us focus the facts from our members, in order to craft a solution.
Economic Impact Study
THANK YOU to the builders that submitted this month their sales and production data! HBADE has commissioned an updated economic study to demonstrate and codify the positive economic impact that new home building provides for the State of Delaware. We all know that housing is a major driver and fundamental contributor to the local economy, the report will quantify it
As you may be aware, this Spring the State created the Statewide Ecological Extinction Task Force, whose charge is to examine and suggest recommendations to curb the loss of plants and animals which are native to Delaware.
Our member Bob Thornton presented a slideshow last week about the successes and failures of using native plants in Delaware. We are encouraging developers and home builders to specify use of native plant materials in the landscape plans. Native plants encourage and attract native species of animals and critters and will help the ecosystem continue to thrive.
At the next Task Force meeting Jim McCulley will present a list of recommended incentives for greater adaption by builders and developers.
1. Our transfer tax opinion editorial (op-ed) describing how the recent 33% tax increase enacted by the State will hurt housing and homebuyers. In case you missed our op-ed, it was in 3 Delaware newspapers this week. Here is a link to it….
2. Builders and Remodelers, ready to enter for national awards competition?
3. Builders and Remodelers – you are eligible for manufacturer rebates for products you are probably already using in your projetcs. Learn how to cash in! with HBADE INSIGHTS Magazine: : HBADE INSIGHTS Magazine
Looking Out for Our Builders and Developer Members – Transfer Tax Economic Impact Survey
Builders and developers, please respond to the email we sent August 10, 2017 for sales prices and development costs. We need this data so that the economists at NAHB can prepare studies on the economic impact new home construction contributes to the local economy in Delaware and the negative impact of the increased transfer tax. If you missed the email, please email us and ask for another survey form at firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking Out for Our Members – Cluster Mailboxes in New Communities
Coming soon, postal authorities will be implementing requirements that all new home communities will be required to use cluster mailboxes; and that existing home communities will be polled to see if they want cluster boxes. Apparently studies show that fewer letter carriers can deliver more mail faster using cluster boxes.
While we presume existing communities will not have to pay for the cluster boxes, new home community builders and developers certainly will. We understand there could be a couple options. One, if a set of cluster boxes is at the end of a street, then it could be placed alongside the road. However, if the builder decides to have one location for all cluster mailboxes in the community, they will likely need to configure their site to provide for a vehicle pull-off area, concrete sidewalks to the boxes, and so forth.
NAHB will be submitting a letter to Congress when they return to session, to allow builders and developers to petition for waiver to allow curbside delivery. Until this happens, builders should check with their local postmaster for guidance.
It sounds like these postal regulations have been in place for a number of years, but not implemented quite at the same speed. We will post the regulations on our website when we receive them, but builders and developers should check with their local building officials or consulting engineers until then.
Looking Out for our Members August 8, 2017
International Builder Show
When we hear of a great opportunity for our members, we let them know. And the International Builder Show is a perfect example. It is the largest show for building, remodeling, product displays, and educational sessions in the country. To be held in Orlando in January, August is the perfect time to register to take advantage of the extra special deals available this month only. Members can get a complementary Expo pass, or save $100 on full registration – only in August. And join your fellow Delawareans as we are staying at the Rosen Centre Hotel, literally 5 minute walk to the Show. (our hotel block reservation at the Rosen only runs till October 30, so don’t be disappointed.)
An Expensive Transfer Tax Wrinkle
Not surprising, an apparently unintended consequence from the recent increased real estate transfer tax bill just passed by the Legislature.
A builder member contracted in mid July to build a home on their client’s lot. Certainly not an unusual circumstance. But because the contract was entered into in mid July, one would expect the transaction to be exempt from the 33% realty transfer tax increase (since the bill states it shall not apply to contracts entered into prior to August 1st). Wrong. The builder had to pay the additional 1% transfer tax in order to get the building permit. We’re looking to see if this can be reversed, it does not seem keeping with the intent of the new law. If anyone else has experienced this, please let us know by email at email@example.com.
Economic Study Update – Homebuilder Members
Homebuilders – be on the lookout for a survey coming from HBADE within the next few days. We will be gathering data, as the economists at NAHB develop an updated economic study of the impact of housing to the local economy, as it relates to the recent 33% increase in the real estate transfer tax enacted a month ago. The data supplied by builders – such as average sales prices, raw land values, permit fees – will be kept strictly confidential and supplied to NAHB. Our current numbers from our 2014 study are still relevant, however we will update with this study.