Mixed Fortunes Indianapolis maintained its standing as the most affordable major U.S. housing market for a fourth consecutive time in the second quarter of 2006, according to the August NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI). In Indianapolis, 87.4 percent of homes sold in the second quarter were affordable to families earning the area's median household income of $65,100. The median sales price of all homes sold during that time was $120,000, up from $113,000 in the previous quarter. Behind Indianapolis on the list of affordable major metros were Detroit/Livonia/ Dearborn, Mich.; Grand Rapids/Wyoming, Mich.; Buffalo/Niagara Falls, N.Y.; and Youngstown/ Warren, Ohio/Boardman, Pa., in that order.

But not everything is going Indy's way. According to The Indianapolis Star, “new-home builders ... are staring at an 18 percent drop in single-family building permits so far this year.” And in August, RealtyTrac.com reported that for the second quarter of 2006, Indianapolis had the nation's highest foreclosure rate: 0.99 percent, or one foreclosure for every 101 households. It was the second quarter in a row that Indianapolis led all metropolitan areas.

Plug in at IBS Building professionals looking for an edge in the latest home building technologies will converge on nextBUILD, the newly renamed technology component of the NAHB's 2007 International Builders' Show (IBS), to be held Feb. 7–10 in Orlando, Fla. Formerly called tecHOMExpo, nextBUILD will feature more than 200 exhibitors offering both back-end office technologies to help builders improve their business management processes as well as the top technologies that consumers are asking for in their homes.

Forums will be offered to assist builders with specific software issues and demonstrate how technology can help them run a more efficient and profitable business. These moderated panels of builders and technology experts will explore such topics as wireless communication, paperless solutions, integrating the Internet into businesses, and examining future technologies. Builders will also have the opportunity to get hands-on demonstrations, test drive the latest software solutions, and ask vendors questions about their products through nextBUILD's interactive computer labs. To learn more about nextBUILD, go to www.buildershow.com.

Land Resource In an environment of increasing local governmental regulations and constraints on land use, as well as growing concern over smart growth, land development has become an even greater challenge for builders. The NAHB's book publishing division, BuilderBooks, recently released Land Development, 10th Edition, a step-by-step guide to help builders successfully navigate the complicated land development process.

The book has been a key resource for developers, builders, and students who want to understand the essentials of residential land development. The newest edition contains sections that examine the latest environmental regulations affecting land development, emerging demographics for targeted marketing, and innovations in housing types. Land Development, 10th Edition is available through www.builderbooks.com or by calling 800-223-2665.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Indianapolis, IN.