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Industry Trends5 min

Solutions for the Starter Home Shortage

The supply of modestly priced starter homes continues to drop nationwide. A recent report by Realtor.com found that the number of homes priced above 750 000 $ grew 11 percent last year, while the number of starter homes priced under 200 000 $ fell by 8 percent. 

Home values and rent continue to increase, but average salaries across the United States are not increasing at the same percentage. Consider that the average home value in 1950 was 7 400 $ and the household median income was 2 990 $. In 2010, however, the median home value was 221 800 $ (an increase of nearly 2 900 %) while the household median income was 49 445 $ which is an increase of only 1 554 % (source: U.S. Census Bureau via Curbed). That disparity is one of the reasons that the American starter home is out of reach for many entry-level buyers.

But designing and building starter homes doesn't have to be restrictive in order to keep costs at bay. Rather, smart design and smart product selection can help buyers achieve the American dream without sacrificing quality.

Some of the challenges when building starter homes:

  • Narrower, smaller—even subdivided—lots
  • Designing a home that can be remodeled and/or grow as the family grows or can financially afford to add on
  • Clever use of space to maximize square footage, particularly mindful of Millennial first-time homebuyers
  • Integrating design, structural and sustainability elements that defend the build

KB Home, who partners with LP, takes advantage of LP® TechShield® Radiant Barrier, an easy, low cost energy efficient upgrade, and is at the forefront of companies trying to boost the supply of affordable entry-level homes. In KB Home’s Q1 earnings call, Chairman/CEO Jeffrey Mezger said that “offering more affordable products within our communities is also key. Our efforts to address affordability concerns by expanding the choice of square footages available to homebuyers are well underway, and we expect to continue to introduce lower square footage plans in select communities in the months ahead. A good example is our new Autumn Winds community in Riverside County, California. We added 1 400 and 1 500 square-foot plans to complement our initially planned lineup for this community, which had ranged from 1 600 to 2 400 square feet. Since the opening, these two small plans have generated about 25 percent of this community’s net orders. 

Nationwide, smaller metro areas continue to be the most affordable entry points for first-time homebuyers. A recent U.S. News and World Report found that would-be buyers in Huntsville, Alabama, and Ft. Wayne, Indiana, only needed to earmark 19 percent of their income toward housing – far less than the percentage needed in the top 20 markets in the U.S.

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Industry Trends5 min

Tighter Building Envelopes

Overall, improvements in building envelopes have helped homeowners benefit from greater protection against moisture. Builders are able to create more energy-efficient homes overall due to these developments. However, when the exterior envelope doesn't allow a structure to breathe, any moisture that gets trapped inside simply rots-causing more problems than intended. What is the solution to needing a tight building envelope that allows for proper airflow? Symbiotic materials, such as the LP Structural Solutions portfolio of products, provide an answer.

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News & Stories6 min
On the Jobsite with LP Technical Sales Manager – Oscar Trejo

We're joining Oscar Trejo, LP Technical Sales Manager, for a typical day on the job sharing his knowledge about one of the most durable siding solutions available-LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding. Trejo dedicates his time to providing construction training for building professionals, assisting on the jobsite, and leading his team at LP.

News & Stories4 min
HOW IS THE PAST IMPACTING THE FUTURE OF THE BUILDING INDUSTRY?

As a leader in building solutions, LP Structural Solutions is consistently moving in the direction of greater resiliency. Each innovative building solution is viewed through that lens, as well as how it can help achieve LP's overall goal of Building a Better World™. But why this direction? What led LP to focus on resilience in construction? Craig Miles, Director of OSB Sales & Marketing, explores how past trends inform LP's work on modern building techniques today.

Business Advice5 min
PREPARING FOR PRIME SIDING SELLING SEASON

Coming off an unprecedented year, the busiest season for selling siding is almost underway! COVID-19 is still a significant consideration as you attempt to move forward with your siding business while taking learnings and challenges from the pandemic into consideration. We talked with Erik Perkins of Perkins Builder Brothers to get insight straight from the jobsite about COVID-19's impact, tips for prepping for a new season, and more. Read on to see how LP can support you with one of the most durable siding options out there as your business ramps up!