NAHB Board Meeting and International Builder Show

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Yesterday marked the start of the International Builder Show for 2010.  For the next few days we will be learning, cheering and making forward thinking advances in the home building industry.  It seems that the start of this week has a renewed focus on marketing, operational efficiencies and encouraging discussions about how we, as an industry, have made it through the recession.

I am also starting to hear a trend that started in the Committee and Board Meetings earlier this week and is strengthening as the builder show continues.  Social media and the use of the internet and social networking sites has become one of the best, if not the only way to continue to connect and communicate with your buyers, network and sphere of influence.  Quite timely that Carol’s book was released this week!

Building brand, creating a new media sales and marketing strategy and focusing on targeting your online reputation will be critical this coming year.  Connecting and communicating with your target audience online is one of the things everyone seems to be focusing on…even NAHB, NSMC and the other committees are beginning to use twitter and facebook more often.

This week began on Sunday with Committee and Subcommittee meetings at NAHB.  Interesting growth plans and ideas for this year. The forecast from the economic report by Robert Denk of the NAHB showed the bottom of the decline in 2009.  This was not projection but history.  He stated that the recession has ended and that we should start to see new slow growth in the market.

Some of the key statistics and information that came out of that report were:

-    Observable trend would normally put the ratio of home process to income at 3.2, the boom saw a ratio of 4.7…we are now at about 3.2 nationally
–    Foreclosure is no longer about subprime loans, they are good loans that are underwater.
–    Over half of all foreclosures in the country come from 6 states: NV, FL, AZ, CA, MI, and IL
–    The great recession is over, GDP growth has resumed
–    Job losses are tapering off – unemployment will decline, but only slowly
–    Inflation is not a threat with so much slack in the economy
–    Interest rates will remain low
–    Housing starts has increased slightly last year from 2008 – up from the huge cliff that was there the past 3 years

We are slowly coming out of the recession and should see growth and the gradual release of all that pent up demand from Gen Y (Millenials) who have delayed buying and starting their households because of the market (and in some cases the different product preferences they desire).  Also are other generations that have simply been waiting for changes in the market to make their decision.

Be ready for 2010, it will be a positive year of slow growth and signs of recovery…and the excitement building at the International Builder Show is the start of that proof.