Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates up from yearly lows

NEW YORK – Rates on 30-year fixed mortgages ticked up this week from the lowest level of the year. Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate rose to 4.79 percent, up from 4.78 percent last week. A year ago, the rate averaged 5.29 percent.


Five Pillars of Design for Outdoor Living

Beautiful, functional outdoor living spaces reflect elements of balance, nature, longevity, details and convenience By Jonathan Parks, AIA As an architect designing high-end custom homes in Florida, one advantage of working in this climate is the opportunity to design outdoor living spaces as an extension of the indoor living space. We find a properly designed…


DOE Rule Change Could Ban Multiple Outlet Shower Systems

A newly issued draft interpretive rule from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that changes the definition of “shower heads” to “shower valves” has sparked significant concern among NAHB members, members of the Plumbing Manufacturers Institute and other groups. The problem is that this change in definition, which was published in the Federal Register on May 19, may conflict…


Housing starts rise 5.8% in April

WASHINGTON – May 18, 2010 – Nationwide housing starts rose 5.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 672,000 units in April as the deadline for an important homebuyer tax incentive arrived, according to figures released today by the U.S. Commerce Department.