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News from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Fall Leadership Meeting

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It was an exciting week in New Orleans.  A few things I learned at my Land Development Committee meeting and other sessions:

Paul Emrath of the NAHB staff has been helping develop an Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) calculator. This tool will be useful in demonstrating the feasibility (or infeasibility) of building attainable homes through a community’s IZ ordinance. The Land Development Committee reviewed a final draft and had continuing discussion regarding this tool.  Great work, Paul.

We also learned more about Millennial home buying preferences.

Millennial buyers:

  • Increasingly prefer new homes over existing homes
  • Still prefer suburban locations over the city center, though this is changing
  • Increasingly prefer homes in city center and near-in suburb locations
  • Will accept smaller homes on smaller lots to get a more attainable home

New discussion began about the impact of design standards on attainability.  Some jurisdictions are using design standards as an exclusionary zoning practice and to micro-manage design. Committee members noted that appropriate design standards enhance value and appreciation. Finally, design standards and innovation can add value and decrease costs, such as new building materials and techniques.

If you have thoughts about these topics, please pass them on to me or join us at our next meeting at the International Builders Show (IBS) in Las Vegas and take part in the discussion.

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