Builders utlook
issue 3
Editor’s note: The recent Rally Day in
Austin contained the same message
to Texas legislators as what is
occurring in much of the country. See
the Rally Day story to get more
information on the approach the El
Paso Association of Builders is asking
for from the Texas delegation.
NAHB, Washington, DC -
Growing labor shortages in all
facets of the residential
construction sector are impeding
the housing and economic
recovery, according to a new
survey conducted by the National
Association of Home Builders
“The survey of our members
shows that since June of 2012,
residential construction firms are
reporting an increasing number of
shortages in all aspects of the
industry – from carpenters,
excavators, framers, roofers and
plumbers, to bricklayers, HVAC,
building maintenance managers
and weatherization workers. The
same holds true for
subcontractors,” said NAHB Chief
Economist David Crowe.
The survey also found that more
than half of the builders reported
that labor shortages over the past
six months have caused them to
pay higher wages or subcontractor
bids to secure projects, and
consequently, to raise home
prices. Moreover, 46 percent of
the builders surveyed experienced
delays in completing projects on
time, 15 percent had to turn down
some projects and 9 percent lost
or cancelled sales as a result of
recent labor shortages.
Part of the reason for the labor
shortages can be attributed to the
fact that many skilled residential
construction workers were forced
to seek employment elsewhere
during the recession and are no
longer currently available.
“What used to be high-paying,
skilled jobs vanished as builders
across the nation went out of
business or were forced to let
workers go,” said NAHB Chairman
Rick Judson, a home builder from
Charlotte, N.C.
The loss of tens of thousands of
housing jobs mushroomed to
more than 1.4 million during the
peak of the downturn. During this
period, many trades retrained
construction workers and they are
not returning to the residential
construction sector.
Meanwhile, a lack of buildable
lots and increased costs for
materials and labor are also
contributing to the problem, as the
infrastructure that supports home
building moves to re-establish
itself following the worst housing
downturn since the Great
Depression, Crowe said.
To help meet the growing
demand for skilled labor within the
housing sector, the Home Builders
Institute (HBI), in partnership with
NAHB, provides career training
and job placement in the building
industry. HBI offers an array of
portable pre-apprenticeship
training programs in a variety of
skilled trades that can be
customized to meet the workforce
needs of communities across the
nation. HBI regularly places
approximately 80 percent of its
student graduates in jobs in the
building sector.
“We are ramping up our efforts
to train diverse populations and
place them in jobs to meet the
growing demand of the building
sector,” said HBI President and
CEO John Courson.
“Even in a period of relatively
high unemployment, we still need
to complement our job training
efforts by bringing in foreign
workers to meet the needs of
home builders and home buyers,”
added Judson.
The worker shortages are not
only slowing the housing recovery,
but also hurting job and economic
Nationally, the construction of
1,000 single-family homes
generates more than 3,000 jobs,
approximately $145.4 million in
wages, and more than $89 million
in federal, state and local tax
revenues. That doesn’t even count
the increase in annual property
taxes that local municipalities rely
on to fund schools, police and
As the economy mends, pent-up
demand for housing will continue
to grow, as roughly 2 million
household formations were
delayed as a result of the Great
Recession. In normal economic
times, demand for new homes
should be about 1.7 million
NAHB is anticipating total
housing starts of 970,000 this year
and 1.18 million in 2014 as the
market continues its gradual
“We need to look holistically at
the home building infrastructure to
meet growing and future demand,”
said Judson. “To avoid a run-up in
prices in hot markets due to labor
issues, we need to complement
our current training programs with
a market-based visa system that
would allow more immigrants to
legally enter the construction
workforce each year when there is
a dearth of workers to fill the jobs
that are needed.”
Growing Labor Shortages
Impede Housing and
Economic Recovery
Builders Outlook 2013 issue 3
The year is moving along at a brisk pace and our agenda’s keep us very
busy at the Association. It is a little startling to see that one third of my term
as president has already gone by and that soon we will be making plans to
induct Frank Torres into the spot. But first we have a little bit more work to do
this year and get the Association in a better position. As the chairman for the
Executive Committee I have great partnerships with Frank Torres, Edgar
Montiel, Sam Shallenberger, Frank Arroyos and Greg Bowling. It is amazing
how much work we are entrusted to do. As we come off the highly successful
Rally Day event in Austin I can announce that we came away as the winner of
the percentage over goal for Build PAC. A few of your members really work
hard to get that done and I’d like to thank Greg Bowling, Randy Bowling and
Doug Schwartz for leading the way. They understand that when you contribute
to Build PAC at the Texas Association of Builders we get the ability to have our
presence at the Capitol. Our lobby team there does a great job for all of the
members and a huge value is made with each contribution made. We get to
hang another trophy on the wall for the effort and contributions made by a few,
and I can only imagine what it would be like to get just half of our members on
board with a PAC contribution of $100 or more. As soon as the May city
elections are done we will set up a local Rally Day and remind the newly and
remaining representatives how much you mean to El Paso’s economy and tax
Speaking of elections remember to carefully look at each candidate that is
running, and in the case of the city district representatives make sure that they
understand the value of home building in El Paso. I am proud to say that one
of our own members, Gus Haddad of Haddad Mortgage, is running for Mayor.
Our history of involvement in city, county and state government is long and
storied. So learn the facts about the candidates and then go vote and take
family, friends, workers, and associates out to vote. This election is truly
important to the City and to our industry.
Let’s have some fun at the upcoming Golf by the Rio. I’d like to thank Ray
and Margaret for the work they’ve done selling the event out, and to Sam for
his belief and work with them. Now, go out and do well.
President’s Message |
El  Paso Disposal
2013 issue 3 Builders Outlook
El Paso Association
of Builders
2131 Missouri
915 • 533 • 6045 fax • 533• 6096
Thomas R. Brown, Owner
Mundo Dena says it best: Just when
you think you got it down something else
pops up. Normally you’d think this
would be a bad deal but not here. No
actually the opposite is true. For the
past few years we as a business and an
association have had to trim, trim and
trim just to remain in business. It’s been
no different than what any business that
is around today went through if you were
in business in 2008. I’m not as sure as
some that we’re out of the woods quite
yet, and frankly I think that there’s an
undertone of worry still fresh in the air.
Having gone through a “fiscal” cliff that
was sure to sink the country now we are
in sequestration, the dooms day of all
dooms day for anything that is touched
by or is a government agency. The
politicians and the Administration of
President Obama have said over the
last few months that sequestration
would be the death of the country. Yet
no one in a position to correct it has
done so, instead they have left it pretty
much untouched to run its course and
take us down some alleys we’d rather
not explore. You see no one really
knows how all this will turn out because
not since the great depression of the
1920’s has government been so
disjointed and partisan, and then
unwilling to even talk to each other. I
can’t imagine running this association
like that, much less the United States
government. So that’s why until this
goes a little further down the alley I think
we need to keep our eyes wide open as
well as our options. Home builders and
their supply chain are resilient,
something that many businesses and
few governments are. Perhaps the
lessons on how to do business should
be the Administration and Capitol Hill
members’ priority. Teach them the
lessons you have had, and show them
how to get it done.
As far as the Association we have
survived with the great support of our
members, who through thick and thin
support the goals and direction of it. We
have suffered as members dropped out,
yet they have benefitted from those who
remained. Is it fair? No it isn’t. Yet there
are shining examples of our members
going above and beyond in support of
the association. The sold out Speed
Networking, the sold out Golf by the Rio
are just two recent examples. Then we
are given another round of support by
our building lien holder WestStar Bank.
While I won’t go into specifics here let
me just thank the WestStar leadership
team that includes Larry Patton, Burt
Blacksher, and Henry Tinajero. They
along with the WestStar Board of
Directors are to be commended for
working with us during these tough
times. Like many of our members these
business people understand what it
takes to survive and help you. We have
people who understand that moving
forward requires taking a step in that
direction. So to paraphrase Mundo, you
think you got it down, and surprise,
someone steps up. We are living proof
that the saying is true.
Finally I’d like to thank Joe Bernal of
Employee Benefits of El Paso for his
hard work in researching and creating a
Member Only Retirement Benefit Plan
for the El Paso Association of Builders.
He teamed up with some great folks
who are experts in the field and have
brought a real umbrella product to our
members for individualized retirement
situations. This is the first of its kind in
Texas and will be the template for other
HBA’s to look and offer. As you will see
this tax season nothing is as it was and
your retirement could be at risk. Thanks
Joe for your hard work. Now, to all our
members: give the plan a look with no
obligation. Thanks to our Board for their
willingness to invest in the long term
health of our members.
Perspective |
Ray Adauto,
Vice President
Builders Outlook 2013 issue 3
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2013 issue 3 Builders Outlook
Nationwide housing
production edges up in
Nationwide housing production edged
up 0.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted
annual rate of 917,000 units in February,
according to newly released figures from
HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. This
slight upward movement represented
gains in both the single-family and
multifamily sectors, with single-family
housing starts reaching their fastest pace
since June of 2008.
“Demand for new homes and
apartments is definitely rising as the
spring buying season approaches and
more young people move out on their
own,” said Rick Judson, chairman of the
National Association of Home Builders
(NAHB) and a home builder from
Charlotte, N.C. “Builders are responding
to this improved demand by putting more
crews back to work and pulling more
permits for future construction, though this
positive activity is being constrained by
continuing issues with appraisals and
credit availability for both builders and
buyers, and also by newly arising
challenges such as lot shortages and
increased costs for labor and materials.”
“Today’s report indicates that, despite
some bumps in the road, overall housing
production continues on the solid upward
trend that we saw throughout 2012,”
noted NAHB Chief Economist David
Crowe. “Moreover, further gains in permit
issuance are a positive sign that home
construction will continue to drive
economic and job growth in the coming
months, albeit at a slower pace than
would be possible without certain limiting
Single-family housing starts eked out a
0.5 percent gain to a seasonally adjusted
annual rate of 618,000 units in February,
bringing them to their highest level since
June of 2008, while multifamily starts rose
1.4 percent to 299,000 units.
Regionally in February, combined
single- and multifamily housing production
rose strongly in the Northeast and
Midwest with gains of 18.4 percent and
37.5 percent, respectively, but fell 5.7
percent and 7.2 percent in the South and
West, respectively.
Overall permit issuance rose 4.6
percent to 946,000 units in February, the
strongest pace since June of 2008. That
gain included a 2.7 percent increase to
600,000 units on the single-family side
and an 8.1 percent increase to 346,000
units on the multifamily side.
The Midwest, South and West posted
respective gains of 1.4 percent, 9.9
percent and 6.4 percent in permitting
activity for February, while the Northeast
posted an 18.2 percent decline.
List of Improving Housing
Markets Rises to 274
The list of improving U.S. housing
markets expanded for a seventh
consecutive month in March to include
274 metros on the National Association
of Home Builders/First American
Improving Markets Index (IMI), released
today. This total amounts to a net gain of
15 markets since February and includes
entrants from all 50 states and the
District of Columbia.
The IMI identifies metropolitan areas
that have shown improvement from their
respective troughs in housing permits,
employment and house prices for at least
six consecutive months. Thirty-four new
markets were added to the list and 19
were dropped from it this month. Notable
additions include such diverse locations
as Birmingham, Ala.; Santa Barbara,
Calif.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; and
Bloomington, Ind.
“This is the second consecutive month
in which every state is represented by at
least one metro on the improving list,”
observed NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a
home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “The
expanding housing recovery is energizing
communities nationwide by generating
jobs and local tax revenues -- and it could
be an even more potent force for
economic growth if credit for building and
buying homes was more readily
“With just over 75 percent of the 361
metros covered by the IMI now seen as
improving, the housing market is on
considerably more solid footing than it
was at this time last year,” said NAHB
Chief Economist David Crowe. “While we
expect this positive momentum to
continue, it’s important to understand that
many markets are just beginning the
recovery process, and that numerous
issues – from credit availability to the
rising cost of building materials and
emerging lot shortages – are slowing the
pace of that advancement.”
“With the understanding that there are
still a lot of uncertainties in the regulatory
arena, it looks like we are finally seeing
the beginning of what could be a broad
and deep recovery of the nation’s housing
market,” added Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice
chairman of First American Title Insurance
The IMI is designed to track housing
markets throughout the country that are
showing signs of improving economic
health. The index measures three sets of
independent monthly data to get a mark
on the top improving Metropolitan
Statistical Areas. The three indicators that
are analyzed are employment growth
from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, house
price appreciation from Freddie Mac and
single-family housing permit growth from
the U.S. Census Bureau. NAHB uses the
latest available data from these sources to
generate a list of improving markets. A
metro area must see improvement in all
three measures for at least six
consecutive months following those
measures’ respective troughs before
being included on the improving markets
A complete list of all 274 metropolitan
areas currently on the IMI, and separate
breakouts of metros newly
The El Paso Association of Builders is proud to now offer an
individualized retirement plan created for you.
As an EPAB member, you have the unique opportunity to take control of
your retirement investing.
We understand the challenges of retirement planning. That’s why we have
partnered with Employee Benefits of El Paso to offer you the opportunity
to create an individualized retirement plan under the umbrella of the El
Paso Association of Builders.
• investments
• irA’s
• 401K
now is the time to start planning for the next phase of your life. let your
membership with EPAB help you get there.
Call (915) 542-0900
for more information today.
Prior to selecting investment options for your plan you should consider the investment objectives, risks, fees and expenses carefully. For this and other important information, you obtain
prospectuses for mutual funds, any applicable annuity contract and the annuity's underlying funds, and/or additional disclosure documents from the appropriate retirement plan representative. Read
them carefully.There is no guarantee that participation in any retirement plan will result in a profit or that your account will outperform a self-managed portfolio. Please consult with your financial
planner, attorney and/or tax adviser as needed.
Builders Outlook 2013 issue 3
The Economy
Four Reasons to Be Optimistic
While economic growth has been lackluster
since the end of the recession in summer
2009, this is likely to change, despite the
sequester. Here are my top four reasons
why, in rank order of their importance to the
economy going forward.
The painful process of
deleveraging is over.
Deleveraging is, in part,
what caused this
recession to be so painful
compared with all other
post-WWII recessions.
Non-financial corporations
have outstanding balance
sheets, and have actually
begun to releverage.
Commercial and industrial
loans are once again on the rise and the
banking sector is healthier than it has ever
been since record keeping began. To give
just one indicator, the core capital ratio of
banks is 9.2%; the post WWII average is
7.5%. Households are pretty good shape too.
There are now only about nine million
households seriously behind on some sort of
payment. At the peak of the recession, the
number was 20 million, while now credit card
and auto loans and personal loan defaults are
all profoundly low. The surprisingly rapid rate
of deleveraging is partly why the housing
sector is now recovering much faster than
The housing market has turned the corner
and the next few years should be excellent.
At their weakest, housing starts were 550,000
units/year. They are now at 900,000 and
should grow by 200,000 units/year for the
next three to four years, topping out at about
1.7 million units in 2016. This is being driven
by a rise in household formations that were
delayed due to the anemic job market. Note
that each new home creates about 5 new jobs
nationwide, so 200,000 new homes means a
million new jobs. And while there are still
about three million first mortgages in
foreclosure, that number is way down from
where it was and is on its way to the 750,000
mark, which is the historic norm.
The next reason I am optimistic is because
US corporations are profoundly competitive
and have drastically lowered their costs. As a
result, they are now able to compete with
firms anywhere and win. Unit labor costs are
way down. In the manufacturing sector, they
are back to where they were 20 years ago,
and as a result corporate profits have been
setting records quarterly. Productivity is so
high firms that would not have previously
considered manufacturing here (like Apple)
are now taking a second look.
Lastly, despite severe dysfunction on
Capitol Hill, substantial progress has been
made on the fiscal front. The cumulative
impact of the tax increases and spending cuts
enacted in spring 2011, during the debt-
ceiling fiasco of late summer 2011, the
recently completed New Year’s Day fiscal-cliff
negotiations, along with the most recent
sequester have come close to stabilizing our
public debt-to-GDP ratio somewhere in the
75% to 78% range. With another $500 billion
in spending cuts and or tax increases over the
next decade, we will be done.
Our economy has come a long way. The
worst is over and by the end of the year the
economy will hopefully look a lot different than
it does now. And housing will be leading the
Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. is President of
GraphsandLaughs, LLC and can be reached
at His daily 70
word economics and policy blog can be seen
Elliot Eisenberg
The El Paso Association of Builders is proud to now offer an
individualized retirement plan created for you.
Even if you already have a retirement plan in place, it is well worth your
time to talk to us about the new options designed for members of the El
Paso Association of Builders.
We understand that when it comes to retirement planning, saving every
dollar can add up. That’s why we have partnered with Employee Benefits
of El Paso to offer you the opportunity to create an individualized
retirement plan under the umbrella of the El Paso Association of Builders
that can help reduce set up fees and other associated expenses.
• investments
• irA’s
• 401K
now is the time to start maximizing your plan for the next phase of your
life. let your membership with EPAB help you get there.
Call (915) 542-0900
for more information today.
Prior to selecting investment options for your plan you should consider the investment objectives, risks, fees and expenses carefully. For this and other important information, you obtain
prospectuses for mutual funds, any applicable annuity contract and the annuity's underlying funds, and/or additional disclosure documents from the appropriate retirement plan representative. Read
them carefully.There is no guarantee that participation in any retirement plan will result in a profit or that your account will outperform a self-managed portfolio. Please consult with your financial
planner, attorney and/or tax adviser as needed.
Home Builders Call on
Congress to Move
Forward on Housing
Finance Reform
The nation’s home builders today
called on Congress to move forward on
bipartisan housing finance reform to
ensure that affordable housing credit
can be delivered through a competitive,
efficient, sound and stable system that
maintains the crucial element of a
federal backstop for the mortgage
Citing recent white papers produced
by the Bipartisan Policy Center
Housing Commission, National
Association of Home Builders (NAHB),
Mortgage Bankers Association and
others, NAHB Chairman Rick Judson
said, “Multiple stakeholders have now
weighed in with their proposed
approaches to this important task.
While the details of those approaches
may differ, one thing they all have in
common is the need to maintain some
form of federal support to the
conventional mortgage market. That’s
the point from which we believe
Congress should start as it charts a path
for the
eventual wind-down of Fannie Mae and
Freddie Mac.”
NAHB’s proposed framework for
housing finance system reform
envisions transitioning Fannie Mae and
Freddie Mac to a new securitization
system for conventional mortgages
backed by private capital and a
privately funded federal mortgage-
backed securities fund. Such a plan
would need to be phased in over a
period of time, with Fannie Mae and
Freddie Mac remaining operational
until the alternative system is fully
“As the housing market recovers and
begins to add crucial strength and jobs
to the national economy, it is essential
that Congress ensure a stable and
affordable flow of credit for home
mortgages and housing construction,”
said Judson. “We encourage lawmakers
to pursue the path that NAHB has
recommended. Most importantly, a
federal backstop should be a
fundamental element of bipartisan
legislation moving forward.”
New-Home Sales
Decline in February
from Strong January
Sales of newly built, single-family
homes declined 4.6 percent to a
seasonally adjusted annual rate of
411,000 units in February from a strong
pace of 431,000 units in the previous
month, according to newly released
figures from HUD and the U.S. Census
Department. Despite the slight decline,
this is the second highest monthly total
since April 2010 when the federal home
buyer tax credit expired.
“New-home sales have been running
at a fairly steady pace the last few
months, with February adjusting for the
strong sales we saw in January,” said
Rick Judson, chairman of the National
Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
and a home builder from Charlotte,
N.C. “While the February pace is
encouraging, housing’s recovery is
being significantly constrained by
overly tight mortgage lending
conditions, and policymaker discussions
about changes to the mortgage interest
deduction could cast a shadow on
future housing demand.”
“The February decline is a
readjustment to the unusually high
numbers that we saw in January, and
we are still in line with our forecast for
2013,” said NAHB Chief Economist
David Crowe. “This is the kind of
modest but steady growth we are
expecting to see throughout the year as
the economy and job market continue
to improve, but constraints on borrower
credit, higher building material prices
and a limited supply of labor and
buildable lots hold back a more robust
Regionally, new-home sales activity
was mixed in February, with the
Midwest posting a gain of 13.7 percent,
while the Northeast, South and West
showed declines of 13.3 percent, 9.7
percent and 2.1, respectively.
The inventory of new homes
increased to 152,000 units in February,
which is a 4.4-month supply at the
current sales pace. Although this is an
increase over the previous month, it is
still well below normal inventory
2013 ISSUE 3 Builders Outlook
Bonded, insured for
your peace of mind.
Builders utlook on the scene |
The 2013 Rally Day in Austin was the setting for dialogue
between the visiting members of the El Paso Association of
Builders and our state Senator and Representatives. The
message was that of concern for the education opportunities
afforded high school students and our needs for job ready
graduates and our need to ensure that the State of Texas put
in place a workable water plan. While these two concerns
may appear to be at opposite ends of the spectrum one fits
well with the other as our leadership so plainly pointed out.
“We cannot afford to have the single track of getting kids ready
for college and using a system of testing to a test any more in
Texas,” said President Edmundo Dena. “We need to have a
waiting pool of workers trained to take on the future of El Paso
and the rest of the state” he continued. “Water is something
we can’t do without and while we’ve had conservation in El
Paso and a plan for the future, thanks to the PSB, we cannot
say the same for other parts of Texas,” Dena continued.
What he was talking about is the need to have sustainable
infrastructure in order to have jobs in construction. Water is
the key to growth in the industry and so are trained blue collar
professionals. The path to continued growth counts on both
of these. In an era of school board scandals, especially in El
Paso, the curriculum of having every student having to go into
a college bound system hasn’t help fill employment ready
tradesmen. The Texas Association of Builders and the EPAB
have long supported the concept of choice in curriculum and
in graduating either college bound students or job ready
tradesmen. “We have to be clear that what we are saying is
that in today’s work environment being a successful trades-
person is equal to being a professional in fields that require a
college degree,” said Ray Adauto. “Teaching to a test puts the
educator in a tough position, often not teaching in the tradi-
tional sense, but making sure the test scores were good
enough to meet state standards, not real world experiences,”
he continued.
At the state level the Texas Association of Builders (TAB)
was represented by over 800 delegates from all parts of
Texas. During the course of the day every Senator and
Representative was visited by the Rally Day attendees and
TAB representatives. Leading the conversation with our own
elected officials was Bobby Bowling IV, Greg Bowling, Randy
Bowling and Edmundo Dena. “I am so gratified that we had a
great turnout from El Paso,” said Bobby Bowling IV. “This is
where the rubber meets the road in Texas politics and having
26 from the EPAB come down really shows the
Representative and Senator that we mean business,” he con-
tinued. Randy Bowling has been involved in the TAB
HomePAC for a number of years and was equally pleased
with the response. “Everything went super well for us as we
met with each legislator on a timely basis and in a really well
coordinated effort thanks in large part to Ray and his setting
up of the meetings,” Randy said.
Joining the group for the trip were the following: Edmundo
and Claudia Dena; Frank and Isela Torres; Mike Santamaria
and Pati Santamaria; Kelly Sorenson and Ryan Harding; Greg
Bowling; Randy Bowling; Bobby Bowling IV; Rudy Guel; John
Chaney; Kathy Carrillo; Ruben Orquiz; Sal Masoud; Edgar
Montiel; and Chuck and Virginia Gabriel. Ray and Margaret
rounded out the delegation.
Rally Day drives message to State Capitol
2013 issue 3
Home Buyer Age
Impacts Home
Size Preference
According to
NAHB Survey
A recent study from the National
Association of Home Builders
(NAHB) shows variations in home
buyer preferences with regards to
home size when it comes to age,
race and ethnicity.
NAHB’s “What Home Buyers
Really Want,” surveyed more than
3,600 home buyers across the
country on various characteristics of
new homes. Based on the results,
the median desired home size is
2,226 square feet. However, a
closer look at the data broken down
by buyer characteristics shows
significant differences in how large a
home different types of buyers want.
Age plays an important role in a
buyer’s preferences, with the
amount of space requirements
dropping steadily as the age of the
buyer increases. Among those
younger than 35, the desired home
size is 2,494 square feet, compared
to 2,065 square feet among those
65 and older.
“The building industry wants to
know how much space buyers want
in their homes” said Rose Quint,
NAHB’s assistant vice president for
survey research, and one of the
study’s authors. “This study
provides us with new insight into the
home size preference of home
buyers as a whole, but also across
different demographic groups.”
Race and ethnicity also impacted
home size preferences, with
minority buyers desiring more space
than White, non-Hispanic buyers.
White, non-Hispanic buyers report
wanting about 2,197 square feet,
while Asian buyers desire 2,280
square feet, Hispanic buyers want
2,347 square feet, and African-
American buyers prefer 2,664
square feet.
According to the U.S. Census
Bureau, after peaking in 2006,
median home size fell in 2007, 2008
and 2009, but reversed course and
has risen for the past three years.
Estimates indicate that the median
size of all single-family homes
started in 2012 was 2,309 square
feet, and the average was 2,521
square feet.
The primary reason for the
reversal in home size actually built
has to do with buyers’ ability to
access credit. Due to overly
stringent mortgage lending
requirements in recent years, the
less financially-solid buyers have
been shut out of the market. As a
result, homes built in the last few
years, largely reflect the
preferences of those who are still
able to obtain credit and put down
larger down payments—typically
wealthier buyers who can afford
larger homes.
Builders Outlook 2013 issue 3
2013 issue 3 Builders Outlook
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Builder Confidence Slips Two Notches
Builder confidence in the market for
newly built, single-family homes paused
for a third consecutive month in March,
with a two-point reduction to 44 on the
National Association of Home
Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market
Index (HMI), released today.
“Following eight consecutive months
of improvement, builder confidence
leveled off in January and has since
edged down several points,” noted
NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home
builder from Charlotte, N.C. “Although
many of our members are reporting
increased demand for new homes in
their markets, their enthusiasm is being
tempered by frustrating bottlenecks in
the supply chain for developed lots
along with rising costs for building
materials and labor. At the same time,
problems with appraisals and credit
availability remain considerable
obstacles to completing deals.”
“In addition to tight credit and below-
price appraisals, home building is
beginning to suffer growth pains as the
infrastructure that supports it tries to re-
establish itself,” explained NAHB Chief
Economist David Crowe. “During the
Great Recession, the industry lost
home building firms, building material
production capacity, workers who
retreated to other sectors and the
pipeline of developed lots. The road to
a housing recovery will be a bumpy one
until these issues are addressed, but in
the meantime, builders are much more
optimistic today than they were at this
time last year.”
Derived from a monthly survey that
NAHB has been conducting for 25
years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing
Market Index gauges builder
perceptions of current single-family
home sales and sales expectations for
the next six months as “good,” “fair” or
“poor.” The survey also asks builders to
rate traffic of prospective buyers as
“”high to very high,” “average” or “low to
very low.” Scores from each component
are then used to calculate a seasonally
adjusted index where any number over
50 indicates that more builders view
conditions as good than poor.
While the HMI component gauging
current sales conditions declined four
points to 47, the component gauging
sales expectations in the next six
months and the component gauging
traffic of prospective buyers both
posted gains, of one point to 51 and
three points to 35, respectively, in
Three-month moving averages for
each region’s HMI score were also
mixed, with the Northeast holding
unchanged at 39, the Midwest and
South posting one-point declines to 47
and 46, respectively, and the West
registering a four-point increase to 58.
Editor’s Note: The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing
Market Index is strictly the product of NAHB
Economics, and is not seen or influenced by any
outside party prior to being released to the public.
HMI tables can be found at More
information on housing statistics is also available at
Builders Outlook 2013 issue 3
Expert Advice
Do you know about Safe Harbor
401(k)s? The EPAB Retirement Plan
may be in your future.
In 2012, American’s confidence in
their ability to retire comfortably
dropped to its lowest level in more
than 20 years, according to the
Employee Benefit Research Institute.
Despite the fact that workers are
getting more serious about saving for
retirement, retirement benefits were
available to only 50 percent of workers
in small establishments (<100
Although small employers (and their
employees) like the idea of a 401(k)
plan, many hesitate to implement a
plan. When asked why, smaller
employers would likely cite the cost,
regulatory burdens, fiduciary
responsibilities, and a general lack of
employer education about the
requirements and processes of setting
up and sponsoring a plan. A safe
harbor 401(k) can mitigate some of
these concerns.
Like all 401(k)s, a safe harbor
401(k) plan allows eligible employees
to contribute a portion of their own
salary to a retirement plan. Employers
contribute either matching or non-
elective amounts to the plan on behalf
of eligible employees. Employer
contributions are tax-deductible and
employee contributions are excluded
from income for federal income tax
A safe harbor 401(k) also allows
highly compensated employees
(HCEs) to maximize their 401(k)
contributions while automatically
satisfying actual deferral percentage
(ADP) and actual contribution
percentage (ACP) nondiscrimination
testing rules, as long as the plan
meets certain requirements.
Safe harbors help satisfy
nondiscrimination rules
To satisfy the ADP and ACP testing
requirements with a safe harbor
401(k), your organization must: 1)
make contributions for your employees
and 2) eliminate all vesting
requirements placed on those
contributions. The employer
contribution requirement allows two
options. Under the first, you must
make a matching contribution for each
non-highly compensated employee
(NHCE) who elects to contribute to the
plan. The basic matching formula is
100 percent for at least the first three
percent of employee compensation
and 50 percent on the employee’s own
contributions above three percent, but
not to exceed five percent of
compensation. Such matching
contributions automatically satisfy the
ACP test.
Alternatively, you can design an
enhanced matching formula as long as
the rate is non-increasing and the
aggregate amount of the match at
least equals the basic matching
formula (e.g., 100 percent match on
deferrals up to four percent of
compensation). If you choose the
second option, you must make a flat,
non-elective contribution for each
NHCE who is eligible to participate in
the plan, even if the employee opts
not to contribute. The non-elective
contribution must equal three percent
of the employee’s compensation for
the year. In either employer
contribution option, you can make
similar contributions for highly
compensated employees, as long as
the match percent for any HCE is no
greater than the match percent for any
NHCE at the same rate of deferral.
A safe harbor 401(k) plan also
requires that any employer
contribution, either matching or non-
elective, is fully vested to the
employee. For many employers, this
equals a major drawback of the safe
harbor; your plan loses its power as
an employee retention incentive.
We can help you evaluate safe
harbor and other retirement plan types
for your organization. For more
information, please contact us.
Employee Benefits of El Paso has an
available member only umbrella plan
available to be looked at. The EPAB
does not offer to sell, or make any
recommendations on what plan to use
and only provides an optional
opportunity to our members. This is
not a solicitation to buy. As with all
investments you are the sole
responsible party for any that you
involve yourself in. This article is for
informational purposes only and the
content is provided by Employee
Benefits of El Paso. You may contact
Joe Bernal at 915-542-0900 for

Safe Harbor 401K may be for you
B U I L DI NG E L PAS O’ S F U T U R E S I NCE 194 6
Co·to Boilcio¸ C Loxor,¸
ecaoes ol D
A look at the past sixty live years ol home builoing
in El Faso ano what we can expect next
Special 65th anniversary edition
Latest kitchen trenos
Decor:What`s in 8 out
Reserve your advertising space in
the 2013 edition of
The El Paso Association of Builders
exclusive magazine featuring the absolute
very best in custom home building and
luxury living.
Call Margaret today at 778-5387
Joe Bernal
Employee Benefits of El
Adams Moulding & Lumber
Bank of Texas
BiC Homes
C.D. Lee/Britton ins.
Display Services
El Paso Disposal
E.H. Baeza, inc.
First American Bank
First Choice Realty
First Community Mortgage
Frank X. Spencer & Associates
Masco Contractor Services Dba Gale
Mini Concrete Materials
Oeste Homes
Palo Verde Homes
R.C. Baeza & Associates
Rassette Homes
Roberts Construction
Southwest Alarm Service
Southwest Chimney & Stoves
Wright & Dalbin
Zacour & Associates
Su Casa Magazine
Contact: Bob Skolnick
550 S. Mesa Hills Dr., Ste. D-1
El Paso, Tx 79912
Contact: David Gobble
6990 Market St.
El Paso, Tx 79915
Morrow Water Recovery, LLC
Contact: Paul Morrow
P. O. Box 61447
Midland, Tx 79711
Morales Tile Installation
Contact: Reynaldo Morales
1481 Paseo De Flor
El Paso, Tx 79928
Cano HR Group, LLC
Contact: Tommy Cano
608 Elm St.
Anthony, Tx 79821
Membership News
Thanks to our
Mountain Vista
11395 James Watt, Suite A-11 79936
2013 Issue 3 Builders Outlook
12:00 NOON
For the latest updates &
event information, visit:
Gosh, it is already March and the
first two months are a blur. It looks like
it is going to be a big year for the
associates council. Speed networking
scheduled for March 20th is close to
being sold out as of this writing there
were just five builder and associates
needed for a sellout. What a way to
start the year!
Our Spring Golf Pachanga Fiesta
by the Rio is SOLD OUT. I think we
can use a few more hole sponsors for
a $100.00 each. Our other sponsors
have been sold out for over a couple
of weeks. This event will be different
than what we have done before and is
more about having fun than the golf.
A special thanks to the Women’s
Council that will help with the
registration and sell mulligans. The
mulligan money will go towards a
scholarship that the council will offer
to members or immediate family,
something brand new. I encourage
each and every one of you to support
the Women’s Council and their fund
raising efforts at the course. While
there is still a lot of work to do we have
done some really good things in the
first quarter. I would like to thank the
associate members who took time to
go to Austin for Rally Day. It is an
experience that you don’t forget,
especially when you see the inner
works of the Capitol and all that goes
on. I’m sorry to have missed this one
but look forward to our local Rally Day
once the new mayor and council is
Make sure you vote in the city
elections. We have to remind
ourselves that this election has huge
consequences to us directly. Look for
your chance to meet the candidates at
upcoming Build PAC events.
Thanks and we look forward to your
continued participation in the
associates council.
Builders Outlook 2013 issue 3
Sam Shallenberger
Western Wholesale Supply
Associates Council
E l P a s o A s s o c i a t i o n o f B u i l d e r s
A0v£Þ1lSlN0 A0vAN1A0£
Your EPAB membership offers you the unmatched power to advertise your business in El Paso`s
most targeted, widely distributed publications at special discounted rates.
Get the EPAB Advertising Advantage and your ad will appear in:
February 2013
NOW is the best time
to buy your new
home in El Paso!
Ahora es el
tiempo para
una casa nueva
en El Paso!
New Home Buyer's Guide in EngIish & Spanish
Your New Home
Su Casa Nueva
El Paso Association of Builders
Su guía compIeta
para construir y
comprar una casa
nueva en EI Paso
B U I L DI NG E L PAS O’ S F U T U R E S I NCE 194 6
Home oream
Co·to Boilcio¸ C Loxor,¸
Decaoes ol Design
A look at the past sixty live years ol home builoing
in El Faso ano what we can expect next
Special 65th anniversary edition
Latest kitchen trenos
Decor:What`s in 8 out
Our publications are available in over 350 high-traffic locations in El Paso. Our locations make your advertising
available to a large majority of residents and promise maximum shelf life and potential returns for you. In addition,
our distribution personnel monitor each location and restock them every week, making your ad available to the
public at all times. Locations include: Albertsons, Most El Paso Area Hotels, Fort Bliss Post Exchange, Fort Bliss
Housing Office and the El Paso International Airport.
Reach readers onIine
Your ad will also appear on the web at, a new website which will be
promoted in each publication and in a special EPAB advertising section in Homes of El Paso.
EPABMember Discount Rates:
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Homes of EIPaso
The most widely distributed
monthly real estate
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Homes of El Paso offers
readers a comprehensive
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With helpful editorial about the
home buying and mortgage
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Call 778-5387 for more information today!
I execuTive oFFicerS
edmundo Dena – President
Accent Homes
Frank Torres – vice President
GMF Custom Homes
edgar montiel – Secretary/Treasurer
Palo Verde Homes
Sam Shallenberger – Associates chair
Western Wholesale
Frank Arroyos- immediate Past President
Cisco Homes
ray Adauto – executive vice President
El Paso Association of Builders
I couNciL/commiTTee cHAirS
Associates council
Sam Shallenberger
Build PAc
Randy Bowling
Desert Green Building council
Javier Ruiz
Land use council
Sal Masoud
Young Designer Award
John Chaney
remodelers council
Rudy Guel
membership retention
Mike Santamaria, Greg Bowling
Finance committee
Edgar Montiel
Women’s council
Lorraine Huit
I ADviSorY To THe BoArD
J. Crawford Kerr, Attorney, Firth, Johnston
& Martinez
I BoArD oF DirecTorS
Juanita Garcia, Icon Custom Builders
Samira Gonzalez, Edwards Homes
Walter Lujan, Dawco Construction
Carlos Villalobos, Pointe Homes
Don Rassette, Rassette Homes
Beverly Clevenger, Automated Division 6 Builders
Frank Spencer, Aztec Contractors
Kathy Parry, Hunt Communities
Sal Masoud, Del Rio Engineering
Robert L. Foster,
Southwest Land Development Services
Leti Navarette, Custom Dream Homes
Linda Troncoso, TR-Engineering
Lance VanDeman, Hub International
John Chaney, Passage Supply
Joe Bernal, El Paso Employee Benefits
Ken Wade, El Paso Building Materials
Ruben Orquiz, MTI Ready Mix
Kathy Carrillo, Pioneer Bank
Henry Tinajero, West Star Bank
Paul Zacour, Zacour & Associates
Chuck Gabriel, Carpets West
Ted Escobedo, Snappy Publishing
Lorraine Huit, Cardel Design
Javier Ruiz, Border Solar & Senercon
2012 Builder member of The Year
Frank Arroyos
Cisco Homes
2012 Pat cox Award
Mike Santamaria
Mountain Vista Homes
2012 Associate of The Year
Sam Shallenberger
Western Wholesale Supply
John Schatzman Award
Hunt Companies
Honorary Life members
Rudy Guel
Brad Roe
Cliff Anthes
Wayne Grinnell
Chester Lovelady
Don Henderson
Anna Gil
Past Presidents
committed to Serve
ePAB mission Statement:
The El Paso Association of Builders is a
federated professional organization representing
the home building industry, committed to
enhancing the quality of life in our community by
providing affordable homes of excellence and
The El Paso Association of Builders is a
501C(6) trade organization.
© 2013 Builder’s Outlook
is published and distributed for the
El Paso Association of Builders
by Snappy Publishing
240 Thunderbird • Suite C
El Paso • Texas • 79912 915-820-2800
6046 Surety Dr. El Paso, TX 79905
915-778-5387 • Fax: 915-772-3038
Greg Bowling
Kelly Sorenson
Mark Dyer
Mike Santamaria
John Cullers
Randy Bowling
Doug Schwartz
Robert Baeza
Bobby Bowling, IV
Rudy Guel
Anna Gil
Bradley Roe
Bob Bowling, III
E. H. Baeza
Hershel Stringfield
Doug Borrett, Karam Co., Life Director
Randy Bowling, Tropicana Homes
I NATioNAL DirecTorS
Bobby Bowling IV.
Demetrio Jimenez
Home BuiLDerS
(800) 368-5242
TexAS ASSociATioN oF
Builders utlook
Hunt is developing family focused neighborhoods
in both east and west El Paso.
Our communities feature amenities such as
neighborhood parks, walking trails, bike paths,
and landscaped roadways.
Only in a community by Hunt will you find home
options for everyone – from the first-time buyer
to those searching for their ultimate dream home.
EAST Horizon Mesa
Eastlake Boulevard to Horizon Mesa Boulevard
Emerald Estates
Eastlake Boulevard to Emerald Park Drive
Emerald Pass
Eastlake Boulevard to Emerald Sands Drive
Mission Ridge
I-10 and Eastlake Boulevard
WEST Cimarron
Helen of Troy at Redd Road

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