President’s Message

The 63rd Annual Parade of Homes Offers the Best in New Home Construction and Amenities

Blaine Flynn photo
By Blaine Flynn, HBA President

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Home Builders Association (HBA), it is my pleasure to welcome you to the Parade of Homes. As you can imagine, the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for everyone. We moved the Parade of Homes date to September, and with the hot housing market, inventory is very low and it has impacted the number of entries we have for this year’s Parade of Homes. However, we are very pleased that this community event is taking place, especially since this is our 63rd year.

In terms of cutting-edge technology and features, make sure you see the HBA’s American Dream Home, built by Flynn Built, in the gated community of Yellow River Ranch in Santa Rosa County. Yellow River Ranch has over 450 acres of open space, almost 100 acres of lakes, 4,000 live oaks and miles of walking, jogging, and biking trails complete with community swimming pools, tennis courts, and fire pits. (Take Exit 31 off I-10. Head South on Hwy 87. Turn Right at First Light on to Hickory Hammock Rd., Go 1/4 Mile Turn Left onto Shiloh Rd. This Road ends into Yellow River Ranch.) The Dream Home’s floor plan is designed with open living areas that are hospitable to indoor and outdoor entertaining. The Dream Home is a very spacious 2,600 square-feet, four bedrooms and 3 bathrooms including a roomy three car garage. I am very thankful to my team at Flynn Built for building this beautiful home for the HBA. Also, we could not do this project without the help and support of our Dream Home Donors, and our major partner in Natural Gas of Milton. Make sure you view the Dream Home Donors list and if you see something you like in the Dream Home, contact one of the donors. I am sure they can be of service.

What are we seeing in the housing industry across the nation? Changes in prices for softwood lumber products that occurred between April 2020 and July 2021 have added $29,833 to the price of an average new single-family home, and $9,990 to the market value of an average new multifamily home, according to National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) estimates. The increase in multifamily value, in turn, translates to households paying $92 a month more to rent a new apartment. Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, combined with NAHB survey data, show that home buyers in the bottom one-fourth of the market have been squeezed entirely out of the market for new construction due to a mismatch between actual prices of new homes and prices that buyers expect to pay. As a result, these buyers have been forced to look exclusively in the stock of existing homes – where the inventory of homes available for sale remains in a historically low range at a 2.5-month supply, with a six-month supply typically acting as a balanced market. The growing affordability crisis is due in large part to supply chain disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The widespread shortages are not just limited to building materials – builders are also grappling with a dearth of workers, as the number of open construction jobs increased to 357,000 in in the first quarter of the year nationwide.  On top of this, NAHB recently estimated that regulation is now accounting for over $93,000 of the price of an average new home.

What is interesting is that this coincides with what we are seeing in Northwest Florida. Land prices have skyrocketed, the hidden costs of housing with regulations and fees have made it harder for first-time home buyers to obtain homeownership. This is why the Home Builders Association fights against regulations and fees that add to the cost of housing but does nothing to protect the health, safety and welfare of home buyers.

If you are in the market for a new home, the Parade of Homes will afford you the opportunity to see homes of all shapes and sizes complete with valued amenities. I encourage you to visit the homes scattered throughout Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. Special thanks the home builders who have entered homes into the Parade including aDoor Properties, Breland Homes Coastal, D.R. Horton, Flynn Built, Henry Company Homes, Holiday Builders, KW Custom Homes, Mike Price Signature Homes, Signature Homes, Timberland Contractors and Truland Homes.

The Parade of Homes is brought to you by the HBA, Flynn Built, Natural Gas of Milton, Ballinger Publishing, Pensacola Magazine, WEAR TV 3, COX, CAT Country 98.7. This year’s Parade is set for September 11-19, with weekend hours from 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., and weekdays 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

In closing, there’s never been a better time to buy a home with historically low interest rates. Whether you are a potential home buyer or looking to build a home, the Parade of Homes has something for everyone.