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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources Sep. 12, 2013


TAB News Briefs
Sep. 12, 2013
TAB Quick Links >    Home     Education     Legislative     Publications     Calendar     Sunbelt Builders Show     Resources



Member input sought on proposed OSHA silica rule
NAHB    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
NAHB is calling on members who are successfully reducing the amount of airborne silica on their jobsites to help the association respond to the crystalline silica rule announced Aug. 23. NAHB is leading a coalition of construction industry groups concerned about the proposed rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that's intended to protect workers from inhaling dust containing silica, created by activities such as cutting brick or block, and sawing, grinding or drilling concrete. More



Employers must provide notice of health insurance options soon
NAHB    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
State and federal health insurance marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act open on Oct. 1. These marketplaces are websites to allow individuals and businesses to shop for health insurance plans. To help employees with their insurance selection decisions, the Department of Labor (DOL) requires all employers, regardless of size, to furnish each employee with a written notice of health insurance options.

The exact timeline for furnishing these notices has not yet been established, but it may be prudent for employers to provide the notice on Tuesday, Oct. 1, to coincide with the date that the marketplaces first open. To assist employers, DOL has provided a model notice for employers who provide health insurance and another for employers who do not.

Businesses with less than 50 employees do not have to provide health insurance, while those with more than 50 employees have until 2015 to provide coverage or face penalties. But all businesses, regardless of size, will be required to furnish a written notice of health insurance options.

Learn more about the act's provisions in the Affordable Health Care Act FAQ (View a PDF of the Affordable Health Care Act FAQ).

For more information, visit the DOL website, email David Crump or Suzanne Beall at NAHB, or call David at 800-368-5242, ext. 8491 or Suzanne at ext. 8407.
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Perry: Hecht will replace Jefferson as chief justice
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nathan Hecht, the longest-serving justice on the Texas Supreme Court, is Gov. Rick Perry's pick to be chief justice, replacing Wallace Jefferson, who said that he will resign from the court at the end of the month. Hecht will serve until next year's election, and said recently that he intends to run for a full term as chief justice at that time. More

Texas again named top state for doing business
Office of the Governor Rick Perry    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas has been named the top state for doing business for the third year in a row by Area Development Magazine. In Area Development's annual survey, site consultants rank the states based on 17 different categories. Texas topped the list for best business environment, outranking other states in the categories of: most favorable regulatory environment; access to capital and project funding; speed of permitting; cooperative state government; cooperative tax environment; incentive programs; and cost of doing business. More

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CoreLogic says Texas home prices regained value lost during recession
The Dallas Morning News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As of July, Texas home prices have made up all the declines suffered during the recession, according to a new report by CoreLogic Inc. While nationwide home prices remain 17.6 percent below where they were in mid 2006, Texas prices are now back to prerecession levels, CoreLogic found in a new study. In the Dallas area, home sales prices are now hitting new record highs, surpassing peaks before the economic crash. More

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New Texas traffic laws take effect in September
Austin Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Texas legislative session is finally in our rearview mirror and everyday Texans are left to make heads or tails of the hundreds of new Texas laws that took effect on Sept. 1. The new laws cover a myriad of topics, but none more important to daily activities than driving. Here's a summary of several new traffic laws that will impact everyday driving in Texas. More

Mortgage applications slide as rates match 2013 high
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Applications for U.S. home loans plunged in the latest week as mortgage rates matched their high of the year, with refinancing activity falling to its lowest in more than four years, data from an industry group showed recently. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, sank 13.5 percent in the week ended Sept. 6, after rising 1.3 percent the prior week. More

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Texas' construction industry facing employment shortage as well
San Antonio Business Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) recently conducted industry-wide surveys to gain a better understanding of the challenge today's construction firms are facing on the employment front. The results of the survey showed that in Texas, 79 percent of the industry's firms are having a hard time filling craft-worker positions — including laborers, carpenters, electricians and cement masons. That figure compares to the 74 percent of firms nationwide that are facing challenges filling these positions. More

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Survey: New home sales down 4 percent in August
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Home builders across the U.S. are beginning to hit the limits of what buyers will pay for new homes in this market, as early assessments of August sales activity indicate a marked slowdown in sales due to lofty prices and rising interest rates. A survey of 273 builders by John Burns Real Estate Consulting in Irvine, Calif., found that the respondents' sales of new homes declined by 4 percent in August from a month earlier. In past years, August typically has yielded a 2 percent gain from the July figure. More

Richmond, Calif. backs plan to use eminent domain to help underwater borrowers
Reuters via Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Richmond, Calif.'s leaders recently approved a plan for the city to become the first in the nation to acquire mortgages with negative equity in a bid to keep local residents in their homes. Richmond's city council voted 4 to 3 for Mayor Gayle McLaughlin's proposal for city staff to work more closely with Mortgage Resolution Partners to put the plan crafted by the investor group for the city to work. More

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ADP: Texas added 19,720 private-sector jobs in August
The Dallas Morning News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas added 19,720 privates sector jobs, the most of 29 states that month, the ADP payroll processing firm estimated Wednesday, Sept. 11. That would be in keeping with the national trend of slow, steady employment growth. Texas added 19,900 jobs in July. ADP's estimates preview the official government job numbers for the private and public sectors that will come out on Sept. 20. More

Home construction spending at highet level since 2008
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Spending on new home construction rose to its highest level in nearly five years in July, suggesting that some builders have shrugged off rising interest rates. Private residential construction spending rose 0.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $334.58 billion, the Commerce Department said Tuesday, Sept. 3. Though not adjusted for inflation, that was the highest level since September 2008. More

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Citi plans to lay off 2,200 in mortgage unit
Fox Business    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Citigroup plans to lay off an estimated 2,200 workers within its mortgage business by early next year, as rising mortgage rates have hurt mortgage lending and refinancings, executives at the bank tell FOX Business. The layoffs could come at mortgage units across the country, Citi sources said, adding the bank is closing in on deciding on a final number. More

Analysis: Waning investor demand opens door for first-time U.S. home buyers
The Courant    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Wall Street's billion-dollar bargain hunt for homes in depressed markets across the United States appears to have plateaued, potentially helping to cool the steep run-up in home prices and bring first-time buyers back into the market. Investors accounted for about 20 percent of home purchases in June, down from a high of 23 percent in February and the lowest level since September 2012, according to the Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance survey of real-estate conditions. And they appear poised to reduce purchases further. More
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