Tag Archives: biaw

Washington State building permits increase: A positive sign.

Now that our Seattle and Wenatchee home inspection company offers HVAC testing (duct blaster) for new construction homes we like to keep an eye on the new construction permits.  The 2009 Energy Code for HVAC Sealing requires a third-party verifier to make sure the HVAC system complies with the minimum performance requirement, therefore, we are hired to conduct the HVAC duct testing.

In the May/June issue of the BIAW’s Building Insight Newsletter the chart below displayed a positive sign of recovery in the building industry since 2010.  Spokane, Pierce, King, Franklin and Benton Counties helped to push the May 2011 building permits over the May 2010 totals.  The overall improvement for 2011 shows a 38% increase in building permits year-to-date in May.  Chelan, Mason, Kittatas, Cowlitz, Island and Jefferson Counties didn’t have much change from May 2010 to May 2011.  Let’s hope the trend keeps improving for Washington’s building and real estate industries.

Leavenworth home inspection

Source: BIAW Building Insight, Residential Building Permits Issued May 2011

Washington building industry to recover by end of 2012.

Our Wenatchee home inspection company is a member of the North Central Home Builders Association.  In the May/June issue of the Building Industry Association of Washington’s Building Insight Newsletter they included the chart below.  The green states show the best recovery predicted from 18 months from now.  These are promising numbers.  It is careful to note that the building demand may return but the cost of building may also increase.  With many out-of-work skilled laborers finding different jobs and mills shutting down during this construction lull the labor and materials may be in short supply and thus increasing the cost of new homes.  Those that are able to make investments right now are in a fine position to get the best deals.

Wenatchee Home Inspections

Source: BIAW Building Insight May/June 2011

Wenatchee Real Estate Outlook 2011 (4 of 5)

Guest writer, Rebecca Darley

As the manager of a Wenatchee home inspection company I attend many local real estate events to stay informed of the latest industry news and developments.  On May 19, 2011, the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce hosted a discussion panel called “2011 Real Estate Outlook.” This blog entry along with the other 4 entries will summarize the panel discussions of each speaker including a loan officer, appraiser, commercial real estate broker, builder and residential real estate broker.

Previous Entries:

Randy Gold is the owner of Gold Construction and has 26 years of experience in the building industry.  Gold Construction won two awards in 2002: the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) Washington State Builder of the Year and Wenatchee Business Journal Reader’s Choice Award for Best Builder. He was the founding President of the local Home Builders Association (NCHBA) and the 2003 President of the BIAW, the largest trade association in Washington State.  He moved to Wenatchee from San Diego in the early 1980’s.

Randy started his discussion with a look back to the building industry cycles of the preceding decades.  In the 1970’s the interest rates averaged 10%.  In the early 1980’s the interest rates escalated to an astonishing 19%.  Randy commented that he was trying to build anything that he could “from fences to dog houses” to make ends meet.  In the 1990’s he started building spec homes and was doing really well.  As that decade ended the demand fell and he was stuck with 2 -3 spec homes on the market for two years.  In 2000 he decided to focus on high-end custom homes and was feeling like he had figured out the industry when the bottom fell out in 2008.  He says “this is longest downturn I’ve ever seen.”  Everyone on the panel agreed that they’ve experienced slow and hard times in our real estate market but the fallout of 2008 is taking a long time to sort out.

Randy believes that bargain hunting, longer processing periods, low offers and desperate sellers accepting lowball offers are all factors contributing to the decrease in home values.  He has already sold one spec home for less than it cost to build. 

He predicts a huge epidemic will surface once the new construction demand returns.  Many mills and plants closed and skilled workers found other jobs due to lack of demand in construction.  Randy believes that building material costs will skyrocket and construction lag time will increase while a shortage in building materials and skilled workers will have to be figured out.  He agreed with the other panelists that this is the best time to buy.  New regulations and requirements from building codes will increase the cost of building as well.  He believes that interest in remodeling will increase due to everyone’s equity being tied up in their home.

Wenatchee Area Builder Association Talks About Code

 A couple of weeks ago we posted information about Washington State’s new HVAC requirement.   We are members of the local North Central Home Builders Association and along with the BIAW they are frustrated with the adoption of this new code and fear that it will cost contractors time and money to meet the new requirements.  Read the summary below written by NCHBA.

“On February 7th, Judge Robert Bryan of the Federal District Court in Tacoma denied BIAW’s Motion for Summary Judgment and Granted the State Building Code Council’s Motion for Summary Judgment. The Judge issued a lengthy opinion, finding that Chapter 9 of Washington’s Energy Code was not preempted by Federal Law, even though it concerns the use of components that exceed federal standards…The Federal law states that credits under state energy codes must be on a one-to-one ratio to energy savings. In other words, a one point credit for installing a high efficiency furnace under Chapter 9 must equal the same amount of energy savings as the one point credit for building a house under 1,500 square feet…BIAW is appealing the ruling.”