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18 January 2015 - International Housing Association Meeting in Las Vegas

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18 January 2015 - International Housing Association Meeting in Las Vegas

Filiep Loosveldt and Lewis Sidnick attended the joint meeting of the International Housing Association and the International Housing & Home Warranty Association (IHHWA) in Las Vegas (18-20 January 2015).    This meeting was co-chaired by Lewis Sidnick on the IHHWA side.

Filiep Loosveldt had the opportunity to discuss key topics with different representatives of various housing federations across the world, including the Housing Industry Association in Australia, the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, the Japan Federation of Housing Organizations and the US National Association of Home Builders.  

Some similar trends have been identified in all continents:  more and more people are moving to cities, where the prices of dwellings remain relatively high in relation to  personal income – also as a consequence of a strict urban planning policy against urban sprawl, and of a strong taxation policy on property  and land development -  forcing younger people more to rent a flat instead of buying a house.

NHBC made  a presentation on the UK housing market noting that growth in new build has slowed from 28% in 2013 to about 10% in 2014 (approx.) that a skills shortage issue was faced in many EU countries.

Lewis Sidnick also facilitated a specific housing and homeowner section of the meeting looking at new build quality, customer satisfaction and insurance claims on new homes, with presentations from the UK, USA and South Africa.

The relationship between public and private developers and the question of state aid was raised.  The representative of the IMF “global housing watch”, Mr Prakash Loungani  referred to the recent IMF report on housing markets in the Netherlands :  “To reduce fiscal contingent risks, public support of social housing corporations through loans and guarantees could be phased out and replaced with a more targeted system of direct subsidies to lower-income groups” .”  UEPC will closely liaise with IMF to  follow up on possible IMF housing reports related to other UEPC member countries. We would like to invite a representative from the IMF to the next UEPC Joint Committee.

IHA decided to create a Working Group on housing affordability to be presided by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association. UEPC will also participate and share its “roadmap towards affordable housing policies in the EU”.

IHA also re-affirmed its statement in relation to the Building Information Modeling “BIM”: BIM Statement of Support (Annual Review). This will be commented by the Norwegian federation (NHBA) during UEPC’s next Joint Committee. 

Finally, the IHA and UEPC working group on energy efficiency will continue their work.  The latest document available is a short report that compares the energy performance requirements for new homes in US and Denmark and Norway (NZEB) : Summary Report .  Lars Myhre (NHBA) will comment on this at the working group on energy efficiency meeting.