Dan Reeves

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