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NLBMDA seeking Farm Bill support

The bill would support tall wood building construction and forest management reform.

BY HBSDealer Staff

The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association NLBMDA) wants members to contact Congress in an effort to gain support for the Farm Bill.

A final agreement on the Farm Bill is currently being revised in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The NLBMDA issued the following statement regarding the bill:

NLBMDA urges its members to take action by contacting their Representative and Senators in support of LBM industry priorities in the farm bill, including 1) federal forest management reforms, 2) promotion of tall wood building construction, and 3) ensuring fairness in federal purchasing of forest building products.

Negotiators from the House of Representatives and Senate are working on a final agreement that would authorize federal agriculture and nutrition programs, commonly referred to as the Farm Bill, which expired on September 30. In June, the House narrowly approved the legislation, while the Senate overwhelmingly approved its own version. Time is running out for Congress to pass a Farm Bill—that includes LBM Industry priorities—and have it signed by President Trump before the end of the year.

Record wildfires in recent years have highlighted the need for reforms to the federal forest management system. NLBMDA supports expedited salvage operations for dead and dying trees in areas burned by wildfire, and extending Good Neighbor Authority by allowing the U.S. Forest Service to enter into agreements with county governments. Currently, only state governments can enter into agreements to perform forest management services on National Forest System lands.

NLBMDA supports construction of tall wood buildings and the inclusion of provisions in the Farm Bill that would accelerate the research and development of cross-laminated timber and other engineered wood for use in construction projects as well as provide grants for such projects.

The federal government should also recognize more methods of sustainably harvested forest products in building and construction. Currently, the Department of Energy (DOE) only accepts lumber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) as suitable for federal purchasing. Lumber certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) should also be considered sustainable and suitable for federal purchase by DOE.

Please take action and ask your Representative and Senators to support LBM industry priorities in a final Farm Bill agreement that promote good management of federal forests, encourage construction of mass timber buildings, and allow for federal recognition of all wood certification systems that support sustainably managed forests.

 

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Multifamily confidence falls in Q3

Multifamily Production Index drops 3 points in third quarter.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Confidence in the multifamily housing market weakened in the third quarter, according to results from the Multifamily Market Survey (MMS) released today by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

The MMS produces two separate indices: The Multifamily Production Index (MPI), which dropped 3 points to 48 compared to the previous quarter; and the Multifamily Vacancy Index (MVI), which rose two points to 47 compared to the previous quarter.

“We are starting to see an increase in vacancy rates, which may indicate a saturation in the luxury apartment market” said Steve Lawson, president of The Lawson Companies in Virginia Beach, Va., and chairman of NAHB’s Multifamily Council. “Rising regulatory and construction costs are also affecting developers’ ability to build apartments for the ‘middle-income’ market where housing is greatly needed.”

The MPI measures builder and developer sentiment about current conditions in the apartment and condo market on a scale of 0 to 100. The index and all of its components are scaled so that a number above 50 indicates that more respondents report conditions are improving than report conditions are getting worse.

The MPI is a weighted average of 3 key elements of the multifamily housing market: construction of low-rent units—apartments that are supported by low-income tax credits or other government subsidy programs; market-rate rental units—apartments that are built to be rented at the price the market will hold; and for-sale units—condominiums. The component measuring low-rent units increased 2 points to 59, while the component measuring market rate rental units fell 4 points to 46 and the component measuring for-sale units dropped 7 points to 39.

The MVI measures the multifamily housing industry’s perception of vacancies. It is a weighted average of current occupancy indexes for class A, B, and C multifamily units, and can vary from 0 to 100, where any number over 50 indicates more property managers report more vacant apartments. A reading of 47 is the highest since the first quarter of 2010.

“The drop in the MPI is consistent with affordability concerns that have emerged in the single-family market. Both sectors of the housing market face similar challenges, such as shortages of labor and increased regulatory costs,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “This quarter’s MPI is yet another signal to policymakers that they should be paying more attention to housing market conditions as interest rates increase.”

Historically, the MPI and MVI have performed well as leading indicators of U.S. Census figures for multifamily starts and vacancy rates, providing information on likely movement in the Census figures one to three quarters in advance.

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes fell 8 points to 60 in November on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).

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Beacon Roofing sales soar in Q4

Full-year sales increase 46.6% for roofing and building products distributor.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Beacon Roofing Supply reported fourth quarter 2018 sales increased 50.1% to a fourth quarter record of $1.94 billion, up from $1.29 billion in 2017.

Residential roofing product sales increased 17.8%, non-residential roofing product sales increased 33.8%, and complementary product sales increased 170.6% over the prior year, the Herndon, Va.-based company reported.

For the full year, total sales increased 46.6% to an annual record of $6.42 billion, up from $4.38 billion in 2017.

Residential roofing product sales increased 17.6% for the year, non-residential roofing product sales increased 28.5%, and complementary product sales increased 174.3% over the prior year. Existing markets sales, excluding acquisitions, increased 0.5% year to date.

Beacon also posted a net income of $48.3 million for the fourth quarter, up 7.1%, from a fourth quarter 2017 net income of $45.1 million. For the full year Beacon reported a net income of $98.6 million, down about 2.3% from a net income of $100.9 million in 2017.

At the start of 2018, Beacon completed its acquisition of Allied Building Products Corp. in a $2.62 billion cash deal.

“Despite significant weather impacted top-line challenges, we are encouraged by our fourth quarter and Fiscal 2018 progress,” said Paul Isabella, president and CEO of Beacon Roofing Supply. “Our acquisition of Allied Building Products propelled Beacon to record net sales and Adjusted EBITDA in 2018, and our combined footprint now reaches all 50 U.S. states and six Canadian provinces.”

Looking ahead, Isabella said, “Synergies from the Allied acquisition are exceeding expectations. We will build upon these successes in 2019 by leveraging our 2,000 person salesforce and vast network of over 500 branches to drive top-line growth, supported by the ongoing expansion of our robust digital platform.”

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