A landmark property-rights case
could be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court if NAHB's formal request for consideration, filed June 23, is approved.

The case at hand, Kottschade v. City of Rochester, pertains to the right of NAHB member and Minnesota multifamily developer Frank Kottschade to bring his federal takings claim against the city directly to federal court without the typical 8-10 year wait and the hugely expensive state court battles that private property owners must now endure when their local governments enact land use regulations that fly in the face of the U.S. Constitution. We'll find out whether the highest court in the land intends to hear this case in coming months, and will let you know when we do. In the meantime, for more information you can contact Tom Ward at x8230.

New-home sales broke all previous records in May,
rising 12.5% from the month before to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.16 million units!  The Commerce Department's report on June 25 confirmed just how much the lowest mortgage rates in nearly half a century are motivating buyers coast to coast. Every region posted substantial gains in new-home sales for the month except the Northeast, where unusually wet weather conditions most likely held some buyers back. Commerce also reported a wafer-thin inventory of unsold new homes in May just a 3.5 months' supply at the current sales rate. Only once in recorded history has the months' supply been this low. Such healthy conditions, including the favorable outlook for continuing low mortgage rates and rising house values, have prompted NAHB Chief Economist Dave Seiders to raise his forecast for the year. The new forecast anticipates that total 2003 sales will surpass last year's all-time record by about 1% to hit 985,000 units!  See our press release. [return to top]

California has 41% of the country's million-dollar homes
according to the latest Census data analyzed by NAHB. Based on home owners' best estimates of what their current residences would sell for (including land), the Census found a total of 314,000 U.S. homes valued in the seven-figure range nationwide. Out of these, 128,600 are in California — an inventory that far surpasses the second-largest concentration of million-dollar homes, which is New York's 22,300 (or 7% of the total). Florida, Connecticut and Illinois round out the “top five” list, respectively. Upcoming editions of Nation's Building News Online will have more details on NAHB's analysis of the latest Census data and the geographic distributions of million-dollar homes. Gopal Ahluwalia also has more at x8480. [return to top]

The outlook for multifamily markets nationwide
was the subject of a detailed teleconference presented for NAHB's Multifamily Leadership Board on June 26. Multifamily business consultant Ron Witten, president of Witten Advisors in Dallas, gave his analysis of major trends developing in the hottest apartment markets, and also provided a comprehensive economic outlook for those who dialed in. See Monday night's edition of Nation's Building News Online for full coverage of Witten's presentation. For a schedule of future teleconferences and information on how to be a part of the Multifamily Leadership Board, please contact Laura Zaner at x8563. [return to top]

NAHB's Member Census offers Sweet rewards
for those who complete the two-page questionnaire. Through an ongoing strategic alliance with McGraw-Hill Construction, you can receive totally free of charge The Sweets Catalog File Residential Edition.  It's the residential building industry's most comprehensive products and services directory and a great resource for efficiently selecting, comparing and purchasing the right building products.  Simply go to the 2003 Member Census online and fill it out. NAHB will use the data you provide to help align our resources and expertise to your business's changing needs and better represent you as the Voice of the Housing Industry.  Submit your completed form and McGraw-Hill Construction Sweets will automatically send you its catalog. This is a win-win situation for everyone, including NAHB-affiliated manufacturers and service providers participating in the directory. Emily Herek has details at x8354 [return to top]

Look for the next Monday Morning Briefing on July 14!
NAHB offices will close for Independence Day on July 4, and the Monday Morning Briefing Letter will not appear the following Monday, July 7. We'll be back the next week with all the latest news for NAHB leadership! [return to top]

June 30, 2003

By C. Kent Conine
NAHB President and
Jerry Howard
NAHB Executive VP and CEO
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