New-home sales have not been this strong since the late 1970s, but
"We've got to be very careful we don't overbuild," said Rick Porter,
"You have thousands of entrepreneurs deciding when to build and how
In the 1970s, baby boomers were buying their first homes, driving sales
First-time homebuyers in the '90s belong to the small baby bust
The industry's strength these days depends on plentiful jobs and super-
When the economy slows, as most expect it to this year, builders may be
So far, however, inventories of unsold new homes are unusually small.
The National Association of Home Builders, which hosts the annual event,
Despite the flush times, the industry's profitability is likely to be a
The trade group's typical member builds as few as 15 houses a year, at a
He said the builders in Dallas will zero in on the bottom line: "How can
L. Earl Armiger, president of Orchard Development Corp., Ellicott City,
"Sales may be at the level of the early 1980s, but profitability is not
The builders are among Washington's most vigorous lobbies, and their
The trade group backs a bill that would make it easier for property
The House of Representatives has already approved a version of the bill.
The Senate has yet to act.
Also on the convention's agenda: opposition to federal government rules
"We clearly want to protect the environment, but what's the right
The group also wants the Federal Trade Commission to exempt certain
Builders also say they will be trolling for new ideas in Dallas.
Mr. Porter, the Atlanta builder, said he wants to learn more about a new
He predicted that this kind of development will become a trend.
Mr. Armiger, the Maryland developer, said smart builders will be keeping
He said builders will be taking seminars on "building for empty-nesters