Bang for the Buck Ever wonder what makes some properties more expensive than others or why a home in one part of town can cost much more than the same home in another part of town? A new online model lets you plug in a variety of home and location characteristics to find out which ones mean more money and which ones don't. To show the effects that various features can have on a home's value, the NAHB housing economics department has created a house price estimator model based on data from the American Housing Survey, a nationally representative survey of about 60,000 housing units conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau in odd-numbered years. The house price estimator results are based on the value of a “standard” home in each Census region. To learn more about the house price estimator or to explore the price effects of house features and location characteristics, check out the model online at: /estimator.

Step Down The NAHB Multifamily Stock Index (MFSI) dipped again in December as the index continues to fall back from the record highs set throughout most of 2006. The December numbers, released in late January, dropped 111 points—about 3 percent—from the November MFSI to an index value of 3,521.

The MFSI tracks the stocks of 23 publicly traded firms, including 20 Real Estate Investment Trusts, principally involved in owning, developing, and managing multifamily housing.

“A downswing in housing starts and residential construction activity concentrated in the single-family sector took a heavy toll on economic growth during 2006,” says David Seiders, the NAHB's chief economist. “The multifamily sector held up relatively well, although producers have been shifting gears to construct fewer condo units.” Seiders adds that he does not expect the condo sector to stabilize until at least later this year.

Energy Experts As concerns over energy and the environment remain at the forefront of our nation's important issues, an increasing number of new-home builders have shifted their focus to improving the energy and environmental performance of their homes. A group of 11 such home builders were honored for their contributions on Feb. 7, 2007, with the EnergyValue Housing Award (EVHA) presented at the 2007 International Builders' Show. Each year, the EVHA program recognizes a new group of visionary builders who have voluntarily integrated energy efficiency into the design, construction, and marketing of their homes and demonstrated successful approaches to energy-efficient construction.

Win-Win The NAHB is proud to announce the Innovation in Workforce Housing Awards (IWFHA). These awards are designed to recognize outstanding examples of workforce housing communities that provide decent and affordable homes for nurses, police officers, teachers, retail workers, and the like, near their places of work.

IWFHA is open to builders, architects, designers, developers, and land planners nationwide. To be eligible for entry, a community must have been completed, had its first model opened, or had its first unit occupied between Jan. 1, 2004 and Oct. 27, 2006. To enter, please visit