Trend Watch Housing Facts, Figures, and Trends 2004,” the latest edition of the NAHB's popular media backgrounder, provides essential historical information on trends in U.S. home and apartment building. It also lists top markets for housing permits, popular construction materials, and more. Some of the highlights from the new edition:

  • The top metro market for single-family permits in the first nine months of 2003 was Atlanta, with 40,580 permits issued. The top metro market for multifamily permits in the same period was New York, with just over 15,000.
  • An average of 19 windows, 19 tons of cement, and 13,837 board feet of framing lumber go into a typical new 2,272-square-foot home.
  • A walk-in pantry is the most favored special feature in new-home kitchens; 78 percent of respondents in a NAHB survey rate it as desirable or essential.
  • In the first 12 months after purchasing a newly built home, owners spend an average of $8,905 to furnish, decorate, and improve their investment. “Housing Facts, Figures, and Trends 2004” can be downloaded free of charge from the “News-room/Reports” section at
  • Keep it Green

    The NAHB's National Green Building Conference held March 14–16 in Austin, Texas is part of the NAHB's effort to develop more resource-efficient, environmentally sensitive, and cost-effective homes.

    Participants learned from the best in the green building field. Sessions provided cutting-edge techniques and technologies to help builders and developers develop, build, remodel, and market greener homes.

    “Through the efforts of the NAHB and its members, new homes today are twice as energy efficient as they were 30 years ago,” says Ray Tonjes, NAHB green building subcommittee chair.

    Focus on Fannie The NAHB hopes lawmakers will stay focused on the vital role of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks in the nation's housing finance system, which has been essential to the housing sector's job-producing role as an engine of economic growth.

    The NAHB would support transferring only the financial safety and soundness oversight of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) to a strong and credible regulator that possesses adequate authority and resources, such as Treasury.

    “The NAHB believes that Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's ability to spur innovative solutions to increase homeownership will continue only if the mission of these corporations is regulated by an agency that also has a housing mission, expertise, and experience,” says Bobby Rayburn, NAHB president.

    New Chair Douglas Sutton Sr., president of Sutton Siding & Remodeling in Springfield, Ill., was appointed 2004 chairman of the NAHB Remodelors Council. As chair of the Council, Sutton will aim to keep members at the forefront of industry developments and increase consumer awareness of the remodeling industry.