2019 #4 5-Questions With: Jeffery Losey

Jeffery Losey
Jeffery LoseyExecutive Director of the Home Builders Association of Tri Cities and Walla Walla

Q1. What are the main activities of the Home Builders Association?

A1. The main activities of the HBA are to provide an association that brings together all contractors, trades and suppliers to support affordable housing.

We do this by monitoring government affairs concerning land use, the environment, affordable housing and building codes and by promoting balanced policies that accommodate responsible free-market demand and consumer choice.

Q2. In your capacity of executive director, what data do you pay most attention to?

A2.Very simply the jobs report. When jobs are being created, housing will follow. Your chart on Net Jobs Created (Indicator 3.3.3) tells the why Tri Cities never bottomed out like the rest of the state after Oct. of 2008. Tri Cities was still job creating until 2011-12, this is when housing fell as well. Housing is a reactionary market and can’t create an economy all its own, there must be jobs for housing to thrive.

Q3. To what degree do Benton Franklin Trends add to the Home Builders Association information base?

A3. We use the information on a regular basis to monitor and help forecast emerging trends.

Q4. As one of the Trends show, residential building permits in the two counties have grown at a pace equal to the state – unique among Eastern Washington metro areas. Do you anticipate this outperformance continuing?

A4. We believe the Tri Cities market will continue at its current pace through most of 2020. Beyond 2020 a correction could be on its way. Cautious optimism is the current outlook for residential construction in the near term.

Q5. You have been in this community for many years, during which population has grown dramatically. Are there indicators on the Trends that capture any changes you’ve been able to observe?

A5. Indicator 3.4.1 which shows Assessed Value of Taxable Total Property & Annual Growth Rate is the chart which helps tell the story of our market. Our housing market is unhealthy as seen by a soaring growth rate from 3.9% (2017) to 12.7% (2018.) This is one of the leading causes of the housing affordability crisis as inventory is extremely low and home prices soar coupled with land prices escalating too fast.

Your charts have been extremely valuable in giving us timely data that helps us in forecasting and predicting trends.