1978 First issue of BUILDER is published in May; total housing starts hit a record 2 million; microwaves gather steam as standard item; major brands include Caloric, GE, Jenn-Air, Litton, MagicChef, Micro-Tronics, Modern Maid, Sears, Tappan, and Whirlpool; builders report putting microwaves in almost 10 percent of all new single-family homes.
1979 Hot tubs grow in popularity among affluent home buyers--sales grew from 5,000 in 1976 to more than 38,000 in the late '70s; prime rate increases 60 percent from Aug. 1 to Oct. 27, Federal Reserve moves to curtail double-digit inflation by imposing restrictive monetary policy--interest rates soar and economy stalls; magazine redesigns.
1980 First "new products" issue is published in February, features more than 150 products in 13 categories; median price of a new single-family home reaches a record high of $68,800; industry experts fear housing will be less of a priority under new Reagan administration but say friendlier business climate will lead to interest rate reductions.
1981 First Builder's Choice Design Awards in October; first issue of BUILDER under Hanley-Wood published in November; mortgage rate hits 18 percent, prime rate close to 21 percent; big builders flex muscles as U.S. Home, Ryan Homes, Ryland Group, and Pulte Home Corp. close more than 32,000 units combined--but it's still only 3 percent of starts that year.
1982 BUILDER publishes editorial cartoons in January depicting how difficult it is for new-home buyers to obtain mortgages; industry attempts to market zero-interest mortgages fail because home buyers can't afford one-third down payment or seven-year payout.
1983 About one-third of first-time home buyers in major metro areas purchase condominiums; magazine rolls out new logo in May; The New American Home in December issue focuses on young, married couples with one or more children, would sell for $80,000 in most markets--house is 1,500 square feet with three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, a living room, dining room, and two-car garage.
1984 First BUILDER 100 published in May, U.S. Home top builder with 14,028 units and $1.15 billion in revenue, company keys in on first-time home buyers and retirement communities; May issue also features roundtable on housing issues with President Reagan, (pictured below with Mike Wood, CEO, Hanley-Wood, LLC, publisher of BUILDER.)
1985 Home builders feel the sting of the savings and loan scandal as William Levitt's Villa Poinciana in Florida barely survives the crash of Baltimore's Old Court Savings and Loan Association, one of the main backers of the affordable housing project; S&L failure in Maryland costs state deposit insurance fund and Maryland taxpayers $185 million; Ohio S&L also shut down.
1986 Two-income households become big force as 78 percent of married home buyers had both spouses working; magazine does major features on impact fees, land scarcity, and, in November, runs a special NAHB pull-out section on the Tax Reform Act of 1986.
1987 Coverage of October stock market crash features responses from builders, many of whom say the stock market roller coaster underscores the stability of an investment in a home; Texas S&Ls collapse, throw Texas economy into major recession; first software directory published in November, lists 38 vendors, including still familiar names such as Autodesk, IBM, and Timberline.
1988 Two reports, "The State of the Nation's Housing," by William C. Apgar and H. James Brown of Harvard University, and "A Decent Place to Live," by a 26-member National Housing Task Force, describe the nation's affordable housing crisis; FDIC announces $1 billion bailout of Texas-based First Republic Bank; U.S. League of Savings Institutions reports that 20 of the nation's 3,118 S&Ls accounted for $3 billion of the industry's $3.8 billion first-quarter loss.
1989 Research by LSI, based in Crofton, Md., reports that new household formations, which dropped to 1.44 million in the 1980s, will average only 1.21 million in the 1990s--still, markets such as the western United States will attract new families; HUD Reform Act of 1989 passes; Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 passes; magazine redesigns in July.