Housing is poised to lead economic rebound; area builders look to future

HBCA group photo, Brevard Business News Photo by Adrienne B. Roth

by Ken Datzman for Brevard Business News
BBN Photo by Adrienne B. Roth

Above: Members of the Home Builders and Contractors Association of Brevard gathered in mid–March in Viera at a social function. Halco Inc. founder and owner Jim Halas seated lower right.

VIERA — The reopening of portions of the U.S. economy is cautiously underway in some states. When activity does resume in an increasing number of states, the nation’s homebuilders may be leading the economic recovery.

A new study from the National Association of Home Builders, or NAHB, shows that housing “stands poised to pace the economic rebound” once social–distancing and other virus–mitigation efforts are successfully in place to contain the pandemic.

HBCA members who met in Viera included Jim Halas, a general contractor and a roofing contractor who owns Halco Inc.

One of Halco Inc.’s areas of expertise, in addition to being a custom homebuilder, is home renovations. That segment of the industry has shown strong growth the last five years.

“We do a lot of remodeling and residential roofing work,” said CEO Halas, who has been a general contractor since 1983 and founded Halco Inc. “Last year was great for our company.”

In 2019, Halas was presented with the prestigious HBCA of Brevard Builder of the Year award.

“We are grateful to all the people who have helped make our company great, and especially our clients for entrusting their home building, home remodeling, roofing, and reroofing projects to us.”

In renovating kitchens, large islands continue to be a prominent feature, according to the 2020 “Houzz Kitchen Trends Study,” which surveyed nearly 2,600 U.S. homeowners.

Financial investments in kitchen projects continue to grow, with the median spent on major kitchen remodels completed in mid–2019 at $35,000, up 17 percent from a year ago ($30,000), according to the study.

Some of the home–renovation trends: Vinyl flooring is on the rise, white and shaker cabinets are holding steady, homeowners updating a backslash are going bold, and recess lights continue to be the most popular light–fixture upgrades.

The NAHB premise centers on pure economics, and the industry’s traditional role of helping lead the economy out of downturns. Building 1,000 average single–family homes creates 2,900 full–time jobs and generates $110.9 billion in taxes and fees for all levels of government, to support police, firefighters, and schools, according to the NAHB’s new “National Impact of Home Building and Remodeling” report.

Similarly, building 1,000 average rental apartments generates 1,250 jobs and $55.9 million in taxes and revenue for local, state, and federal government. Moreover, $10 million in remodeling expenditures creates 75 jobs and nearly $3 million in taxes, according the NAHB report.

The HBCA of Brevard is a group of homebuilding, development, and related trade professionals. There are many benefits to joining the organization. Once you become a member of HBCA, you also become a member of the Florida Home Builders Association as well as the National Association of Home Builders. For more information about HBCA membership, call (321) 254–3700 or email info@HBCA–Brevard.org.