In today’s construction news, read about how the US housing crisis continues. There are just 1.08 million homes on the market, and single-family home affordability is at its lowest level in decades. New single-family dwellings, some of which are rented, are one way to address the anticipated 3.8 million housing unit gap. On the other hand, the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) will be in charge of carrying out the Clearwater Memorial Bridge superstructure replacement project starting this summer and lasting up to two years. Lastly, Boyd and Greenup counties are preparing to begin the next phase of construction surrounding U.S. 23, as U.S. 60’s roadwork is almost finished.

Homes are Scarce in the US. Here’s How Construction Companies Continue to Offer the American Dream

Original Source: The US is short on homes. Here’s how builders are still offering the American Dream

Housing is in trouble in America. Single-family house affordability is at its lowest in decades, with only 1.08 million properties on the market. Building new single-family houses, some of which are for rent, is one way to address the estimated 3.8 million unit housing shortage.

“Build for rent” (BFR) is a growing area of the housing market. BFR homes attract those who want the lifestyle of a house but the affordability or convenience of renting. They are often built in suburban regions with low crime and good schools.

BFR residences are mostly in the Sun Belt, with an average rent of $2,039 a month, according to data from the National Rental Home Council and Yardi Matrix.

The National Rental Home Council’s CEO, David Howard, said the affordability issue is driving BFR growth. With loan rates at record lows, house affordability remains a problem for many families. Interest rates are expected to fall. Even as a tenant, single-family homes are appealing and in demand.

According to a recent Urban Institute report, BFR may help boost the critically low housing supply and cater to lifestyle trends, but the roughly 131,000 BFR homes in the US are a drop in the bucket of the supply shortage, and these rentals may not help the market at the most affordable level.

“A lot of folks are looking at newly built single-family rental homes in the same way as the starter home market,” said Howard. Build for rent offers a path to homeownership. They’ll buy a house after two or three years.

Who’s in BFR?

Ben Miller, CEO of Fundrise, which owns and operates 50 build-for-rent communities with 5,000 units and is building 6,000 more, said they may be more like apartments than single-family rentals.

Miller remarked, “People think of build for rent as a house.” “But that house is in a community of 100–200 homes. It should be like a multifamily apartment complex with a fitness center, pool, and amenities, but with room for kids and dogs.

The single-family rental market is dominated by “mom-and-pop” investors, some of whom own two dozen homes or just a few.

In recent years, significant investment organizations like Home Partners of America and Invitation houses have bought existing single-family houses to rent. During the pandemic, real estate prices rose.

Some towns worried about the growing amount of entry-level housing stock being converted into single-family rentals, reducing availability and raising prices.

The Urban Institute found that while the average single-family rental home was built in 1979 and is scattered throughout a community, BFR homes are newly built in a planned community of dozens of single-family rentals that may look like a neighborhood of new construction homes for sale. Builders, institutional investors, or partnerships of the two own and operate BFR properties instead of homeowners.

BFR homes fit a modern lifestyle of remote employment, lifestyle movements, and delayed homeownership, according to Miller.

One first use case was elderly downsizing from a larger family home who wanted a house but not the maintenance. The communities also attract young families. Miller said a corporately relocated family may want to rent a comfortable home while they decide where to buy. At a time when they’ve outgrown apartment life, people may still be saving for a down payment.

According to Miller, house ownership incentives have shifted. After former President Donald Trump’s tax code change, the amount of mortgage payments that could be deducted from income taxes was decreased to $10,000.

According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, homeownership is one of the major wealth producers in the US, but a lack of finances for a down payment is often the biggest obstacle to owning a home. People who rent don’t accumulate equity in a home, which can be a safe place to live and a financial tool.

“People move to the Sun Belt. Where will they live? “I think they’ll live in houses,” Miller remarked. “It’s a competition between houses and apartments, not owning and build for rent.”

The difficulties of build-for-rent

BFR’s largest difficulty is a commercial real estate market cold caused by excessive borrowing costs.

Bruce McNeilage, CEO of Kinloch Partners, owner and operator of four build for rent communities in the Southeast, said he wants to grow, but the cost of money requires owner operators to hike rent to stay profitable.

He stated, “There is so much money sitting on the lines that wants to be deployed.” “But you’d lose money every month. We can’t build when people need it. If Nashville or Greenville, South Carolina had five more projects, they’d all be filled.”

The Urban Institute’s examination of Yardi and National Rental Home Council data found that 131,000 BFR units were created from 2019 to the first quarter of 2023 due to the BFR sector’s strong growth over the past five years.

The Urban Institute reported that BFR homes made up 7% of new home construction starts last year, up from 3% between 1990 and 2022.

Still, BFR dwellings constitute a small percentage of total housing stock. 44.1 million rental units were counted in the 2021 American Community Survey by the Urban Institute. Most are apartments, but 14.3 million are single-family house rentals. Less than 1% of single-family rentals are built for rent.

BFR homes are not the smaller, more affordable homes middle-income earners want, even if they make up a small percentage of the market.

Builders say demand for larger homes with four or more bedrooms and 2,000 to 3,000 square feet is booming.

“We thought people would want smaller homes,” Miller added. “But they want the bigger home. The starter home isn’t for them.”

McNeilage said his company is building larger residences that appear more like homes for sale.

A four-bedroom home with the master downstairs on a quarter-acre property walkable to schools? “That’s the American Dream!” remarked McNeilage. “And if you can’t own it, renting is the next best thing.”

Work on the U.S. Highway 12 Memorial Bridge Will Start Soon

Original Source: U.S. Highway 12 Memorial Bridge construction to begin soon

Starting this summer, the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) will repair the Clearwater Memorial Bridge superstructure. Safety, usefulness, and economic potential will improve with the project. The Clearwater Memorial Bridge’s 1951 components are nearing the end of their operational life.

In mid-July, riprap will be placed in water. The riverbed around the bridge foundations won’t erode. Barges will be used for construction. This work will take place five days a week from 7AM to 5:30 PM and finish in early September.

The bridge’s car traffic won’t be disrupted because the work is being done from barges. During working hours, boaters should be careful around the buoys.

Building a new bridge deck with broader lanes, shoulders, and sidewalks is planned. Retain the bridge deck’s piers and girders. The new bridge’s load rating will meet current norms.

On August 15, 2023, all traffic will be moved to the western two lanes for bridge construction.  For the first 10 months of bridge building, pedestrian access will be prohibited. During this time, a shuttle will transport pedestrians and bicycles across the bridge. During construction, ITD advises drivers to avoid the Clearwater Memorial Bridge.

This project will be discussed at an informal open house at the Hells Canyon Grand Hotel on Tuesday, August 8, from 2 to 7 p.m. PST. Nearer the date, ITD will reveal plans to accommodate vehicles, pedestrians, and bikes.

Upcoming Improvements to U.S. 23’s Construction

Original Source: New construction updates slated for U.S. 23

As U.S. 60 roadwork nears completion, Boyd and Greenup counties will begin building around U.S. 23.

The latest steps will pave from the Greenup-Winchester Avenue divide in downtown Ashland to the Greenup County line.

After finishing U.S. 60, crews will start on U.S. 23.

Working mom Alexandria Lambert feels night construction will benefit.

“There are fewer people on the roads, so there are fewer accidents and distracted drivers. It will improve traffic. Lambert added, “It will also be safer for road workers and drivers because there won’t be backed-up traffic.”

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokeswoman Chuck Wolfe warns of uneven roadways.

“It’s more of a hazard to a motorcycle rider, obviously, than to someone who’s in a car, but it’s not just a matter of rough pavement — but of exposed manhole covers,” Wolfe said.

Pavement should begin Monday night and last until 6 a.m.

Summary of today’s construction news

To sum it up, the owner and operator of four build-to-rent communities in the Southeast, Bruce McNeilage, CEO of Kinloch Partners, said he is eager to grow but that the expense of capital requires owner operators to boost rents to remain profitable.

Meanwhile, the bridge’s construction is now slated to start on August 15, 2023, when all traffic will be switched from the bridge’s four lanes to its western two lanes.  During the initial phase of the bridge’s construction, which is anticipated to take around 10 months, pedestrian access will not be permitted across the structure.

Lastly, the newest developments involve paving the distance between the Greenup Avenue/Winchester Avenue intersection in central Ashland to the county line in Greenup County.