Promoting and Protecting the Construction Industry in S. C.
Jim Garman President, HBA of South Carolina

I want to thank all our members who attended the 47th Annual Bird Supper. I am told we had more than 325 people in attendance and based on reports from legislators our members served our industry well by sharing our legislative agenda. I personally enjoyed the fellowship I shared with

other HBA members and the forum to discuss our issues with one another. The mission of the Home Builders Association of South Carolina (HBASC) is to promote and protect the construction industry in S. C. in the legislative and regulatory arenas. We have been very successful in this mission because we act ono our member’s concerns. I came away from the Bird Supper that HBA members share in the common theme that our HBA must continue to fight against the unnecessary and exorbitant regulatory fees imposed on us and ultimately the homeowners of our state.

NAHB research shows that, on average, regulations imposed by government at all levels account for almost 25 percent of the final price of a new single family home built for sale. Every time a local or regional government raises construction costs by, for example, increasing the price of construction permits or impact fees, the cost of building a house rises. In fact, the final price of the home to the buyers will usually go up by more than the increase in the government fee. This is because each time construction costs increase other costs such as commissions and financing charges automatically rise as well. As a result, most cost increases are passed on to the buyers with additional charges. The size of these charges depends both on the type of fee/cost increase and when it is imposed in the development/construction process. NAHB estimates that the add-on charges range from 0 percent if a fee is imposed directly on buyers to 40 percent if cost is incurred when applying for site development approval (see Table 1). So that for every $1 increase in fees incurred, for example, when acquiring a building permit, the final price of a new home to its final customer rises by $1.22. Alternatively, every $818 increase in fees results in a $1,000 increase in house prices.

These costs have an immediate impact on housing in our state as stated in the “Priced-Out Effect” article in this issue. Your involvement in the Association guarantees that we will stand together to promote and defend housing in S. C. SCBJ