California Legislator Proposes Statewide Solar Mandate for New Buildings

PhotovoltaicScott Wiener, a California state senator has introduced legislation that would require the installation of solar power on new residential and commercial buildings throughout California.

Under existing California state law, all new residential and commercial buildings up to 10 stories tall must have 15% of their roof area be “solar ready,” meaning unshaded and free of obtrusions. The proposed new legislation would require that solar be installed on the 15% of solar-ready roof area.

“Fighting climate change and building a sustainable future require us to take immediate action to put in place real clean energy solutions,” says Wiener. “Our environment and our future generations need us to act now, especially as a wave of climate change deniers invade Washington as part of the new presidential administration. Climate change is real, and we must reverse course from the polluting energy practices that got us here, not double down on dirty power. California can – and will – remain the national leader in building a clean energy future, and solar power is critical in moving us down that path.”

In a press release, Wiener points out that this legislation would make California the very first state in the U.S. to require solar to be installed on new construction projects.

This legislation could mean huge changes for builders. Let us know if you have any questions on how this will impact your business.



2017 Home Sales Set to Break Records

Home: House is Sold SuccessfullyHome sales are primed to increase in 2017, according to predictions from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the Mortgage Bankers’ Association (MBA), Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and more.

NAR is expecting existing-home sales to eclipse 6 million in 2017, up from its 5.8 million forecast for 2016. But the other establishments are even more optimistic. MBA is expecting home sales to eclipse 6.5 million next year, while Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are both forecasting 6.2 million.

Meanwhile, new-home construction starts are anticipated to climb to about 1.5 million per year until 2024, predicts Forisk Research.

Home builders are probable to be more subdued, despite demands for additional inventory. “Home builders’ behavior likely is still cautious because of their experience during the crash,” Pantheon Macro Chief Economist Ian Shepherdson told MarketWatch. “No one wants to be caught with excess inventory during a sudden downshift in demand. In this cycle, the pursuit of market share and volumes is less important than profitability and balance sheet resistance.”

As always, unanticipated events in the coming year could render all of these forecasts moot. But there is one thing we can guarantee about 2017: It will be interesting.

Millennials are Buying. What’s Your Plan?


Whether if you like them or not, you need to fully understand the fact that Millennials are the future. Right now they make up over 1/3 of all US workers and have the ability to change industries from within. Perhaps more importantly, given their demographics they own astonishing purchasing power at over $200 billion dollars annually and influence the buying habits of older and younger generations.

That’s why Millennials are either thanked or blamed for the majority of market shifts. Last year, Millennials were tagged as the group who were not purchasing as many homes as expected; this year they are the sparks that will ignite a dismal building industry. Whichever way, as the elders of this generation round into their early to mid 30s, buying a home is becoming a priority.

According to the 2015 TD Bank Mortgage Service Index, 50% of Millennials are either “extremely” or “very” likely to purchase a home in the next year. Nela Richardson, the chief economist for Redfin acknowledged this stat by predicting, “Millennials will have a huge impact on the housing market for the next decade, just because of demographics alone.” She also added, “So whatever a few of them do, there’s enough of them that they’ll make a big impact.” Builders: Are you ready? Have you taken the time to strategize for the Millennial shift and adjust your products and services to capture our attention and deliver a great experience? I hope so.

What enough of them are doing is making home buying pedestrian. And, at least for the Millennial generation, that’s a smart move.