It’s no secret the industry, and in turn, the Association took a hit over the last several years. But our numbers are climbing back up and the industry is showing some very positive signs. Conditions are improving, but it’s a much different market than we were in before the housing bubble burst. Prices for building materials are rising along with the cost of labor, but that also means the demand is there and that is a good indicator of the health of our local home building industry.
Most Americans consider homeownership to be the single best long-term investment and a primary source of wealth and financial security. A home is so much more than an investment. In good times and bad, the opportunity to own a home has been a cherished ideal and a source of pride, accomplishment, social stability, and peace of mind.
Fully 15 percent of the U.S. economy relies on housing and nothing packs a bigger local economic impact than home building. A healthy housing industry means more jobs and a stronger economy. Home building increases the property tax base that supports local schools and communities.
Last year was a great year for the Association and we celebrated many successes. The HomeEXPO and Remodeling Show sold out of booth space and drew a crowd of nearly 3,000. The Parade of Homes had over 70 home entries, up from 56 homes in the previous year. As of the early bird deadline this year, 45 homes have already been entered in the 2015 Parade. Our membership numbers grew and we continue to be the third largest HBA in the state.
I want to continue that success into 2015 and I look forward to serving as your president. Becoming a member of this Association is just a first step. We need active members coming together to support each other to keep the momentum going. Whether you join a council or volunteer your time on a committee, attend our free membership mixers or support the Association by sponsoring an event we need your continued support and active participation.
The only question I have for you is, how can we help you succeed in 2015?