Do You Know
A Conversation With
Local builder and developer professionals anticipate another wild year for 2022.
Predicting the future is always a gamble. The past two years have certainly shown that is true. After months of lockdown and inactivity, the wave of record high building activity and home sales has been a wild ride for most in the residential construction industry in Iowa.
Conversations with several local builders and developers indicate that they expect more of the same in the year to come.
A custom builder as well as developer, Accurate Development has not faced the same challenges with land as some other builders.
“We actually have enough ground right now to develop and stay on plan,” says Johnson. “We’ve had some challenges with development, but not as a result of labor or pandemic issues really. It was a result of the storms in Texas, where our pipe supplier is based. They had to shut down for a while, and that held up work for a time.”
Like everyone else in the industry, Accurate has battled supply chain issues that Johnson anticipates will continue through 2022. “It doesn’t matter whether the product is international or domestic,” he says. “It’s all entwined. You might be buying windows from a local or domestic company, but if they get hardware from China, you’ve got that extra delay on top of the distribution and labor issues everyone seems to be dealing with.”
Johnson says being a local custom builder and developer has brought advantages and disadvantages during the erratic months since the pandemic began. “We’ve been able to stay on plan for the most part because we aren’t building on 20 or 30 lots at a time,” he explains. “Our labor and supply needs have remained fairly consistent with our projections. On the other hand, we’re not buying 20 sets of cabinetry or the same windows for every house we build. Every house we do is different, so that can make it harder to get what we need and to get it on time.”
Accurate Development is seeing the same concerns, just different pieces, on the commercial side of the business, with material prices rising as much as 50% on some items. “Steel is the biggest issue for commercial,” Johnson says. “Everything starts with steel, and right now our orders are six months out. It’s a huge issue.”
Those factors all play into Johnson’s predictions for 2022.
“Supply issues are going to remain a key factor, and you just can’t predict which products or materials are going to be delayed or for how long,” he says. “Right now, windows have a four-month lead time, and when we get a signed purchase agreement from a home buyer, we need windows in two months. That means everything else gets delayed because so much is contingent on having the exterior sealed.”
In addition to supply chain issues and ongoing concerns with the scarcity of skilled labor, Johnson believes interest rates may be the real key to any change in the pace of business. “Costs have gone up on everything with demand being so high, and the only thing that might slow things down is if interest rates go up,” he says.
Accurate has been building more spec homes over the last year or so because inventory has been selling so quickly, but Johnson says the company would scale back the spec projects if interest rates begin climbing. “Increased interest rates will actually have less effect on a home’s price than the increases in supply and land costs. But rising interest rates typically give home buyers pause, and that can start to slow demand,” he says.
Overall, Johnson anticipates 2022 to look a great deal like 2021, with no significant slowdown in sight. “So much depends on interest rates,” he says. “And with inflation on the rise, I expect interest rates to do the same.”
Destiny Homes & Genesis Custom Homes
“We might see a slight slowdown in 2022,” says Wade Hiner of Destiny Homes and Genesis Custom Homes. “But for the most part, I expect we’ll see more of the same.”
That slight downturn, according to Hiner, will occur if mortgage rates rise. “All indications are that mortgage rates will begin creeping up, hitting anywhere from 3.75% to 4.25%,” Hiner says. “That’s up from current rates but still incredibly low. In the 1980s interest rates were as high as 19%. A bit of an increase now is not going to be catastrophic.”
Rising interest rates are often perceived as a roadblock by builders and others in the construction industry, but Hiner says that doesn’t have to be the case. “Our job as builders and developers is to educate potential buyers on how the market is changing and how to work with those changes before any rate changes occur.”
Any fluctuation in interest rates could have a moderate effect on home sales. Hiner anticipates that other factors will have bigger consequences for builders, issues such as ongoing supply chain problems, labor shortages, and municipal regulations.
“Supply chain problems are not going to be changing any time soon,” he says. “It changes from day to day, and there’s really no predicting it. Last week it was black downspouts. Right now it’s garage door panels. Next week it will be something else.” Although it’s possible in some situations to find a replacement option for a delayed item, that’s not always the case. Hiner says sometimes there just aren’t suitable alternatives. The only option is to wait.
In addition to waiting for materials and finished goods, Hiner says delays are not uncommon on the development side.“The Des Moines metro market is hot already, and it’s gotten very, very competitive over the past 12 to 18 months. More players are driving up costs, and more land in development means longer approval times. Our success as builders dominoes directly back to the local cities, and growth in permits affects the speed they can process them.”
Rising home prices haven’t slowed demand, but that has placed an added burden on the market for first-time homes. “More builders are putting in multifamily projects, and they’re selling really well,” Hiner says. “That’s been good news for the entire chain of price points. First-time buyers are able to build equity and move up sooner, which creates buyers for the step-up market.” In fact, Hiner says 65% to 70% of Destiny’s business is homeowners looking to move up from multifamily homes. “Destiny’s volume of homes built and sold has tripled since 2018.”
That situation is affected by an aging workforce. For every five carpenters retiring, the situation is compounded by fewer candidates to replace them. “We’ve seen progress with programs like the Skilled Trades Initiative, but we need to be educating high school students and educators on the opportunities available in the construction industry,” he believes.
Educating buyers on the market, training new hires before experienced team members retire, and educating young people on the opportunities available are all crucial to maintaining a strong industry. But they add to the challenges local builders and developers will be facing in 2022.
Groundbreaker Homes & Diligent Development
According to Kalen Ludwig of Groundbreaker Homes and Diligent Development, “2021 was a record year, but it was harder to maneuver with supply chain issues coupled with strong demand. I don’t see that changing in 2022.”
She says, “Having strong relationships with vendors and subcontractors has been crucial throughout the past 12 to 18 months. Our loyalty to our vendors and subs has been key.”
Even so, addressing supply chain issues has required some creativity in scheduling projects. “Because of the unpredictability of things, we implemented an ‘expectation letter’ with our new-construction clients to explain time line and supply issues. Our typical time line used to be about four and a half months,” she says. “It’s now six to seven months, and we have to keep that fairly open-ended since we don’t know what the issues will be at any given time.”
Affordability had already been a concern. High demand, rising material and land costs, and potentially increasing interest rates make affordability an even greater concern. “If interest rates go up, material costs and inflation will be even more of an issue. It’s important for everyone at every level to be working on the affordability issue because interest rates are bound to increase,” Ludwig says.
The record pace of business the past year or so has been great for the local industry. But it has also exacerbated some existing problems, such as labor shortages and land prices. The labor shortage seems to have gotten worse over the past year. “The deteriorating labor situation is more a result of pace than anything else,” according to Ludwig. “There was already a shortage, but with everyone being busier, there just isn’t enough skilled labor to keep up.”
Being able to achieve expectations, whether it’s deadlines or profit margins, is especially challenging with all these unpredictable factors changing from day to day. Ludwig says 2022 will see more of that.
On the commercial side, Ludwig says supply chain issues are creating similar delays and cost challenges, but the effects have not been as dramatic as in the residential market. “Projects don’t seem to be as backlogged as with the residential market. We have been able to pull a few commercial crews over to our multifamily and single-family builds. Land prices continue to rise, but plats are selling at a quicker velocity than anticipated. That pace has motivated us to develop property a little sooner than we had planned.”
That demand also means inventory levels are an issue at every price point, but Ludwig says one of the most challenging actually seems to be the move-up home buyer level. “Entry-level townhomes are selling well, in part because there’s a larger inventory of those properties for first-time buyers. But all the rising costs will continue to make it even more difficult to hit that move-up price range.”
Ludwig says all metro communities will continue strong throughout 2022. Some may see a slight decrease in permits pulled, however. “Communities that have been growing exceptionally fast may see a slight slowdown. The demand is still there, but the lead times and labor shortages are going to make it harder and harder to build at the pace to match the demand. Ultimately, it’s going to be another really busy year throughout the metro.”
Most of the challenges facing the local construction industry are issues that builders and developers can’t control or resolve on their own. Hubbell Homes’ Rick Tollakson says that’s no reason to get frustrated. “There are no easy solutions, but you can always find ways to adapt.”
Like any long-standing company, Hubbell has always approached business with that attitude, which has served Hubbell well throughout the pandemic situation and the rapidly changing market.
“We had already begun to focus more on entry-level and move-up homes, and that segment of the market is really strong,” Tollakson says. “The challenge now and as we go into 2022 is being able to get lots at that price point.”
One of the hardest-hit communities, although still growing at an impressive pace, is the downtown market, which has been impacted by COVID slowdowns. “Things really came to a stop with the shutdown in 2020. Because businesses were closed, no one was looking to buy downtown. That area is still a struggle. It hasn’t come back to pre-COVID pace,” he says.
The opposite seems to be true elsewhere, however. Tollakson says the largest hindrance to development can be the slowdown in the approval process. “Municipalities just aren’t as efficient as pre-COVID. We aren’t getting approvals fast enough, but it’s really a result of the increased applications. More projects going through the pipeline have delayed everything,” he says.
That added to the competitive market leads Tollakson to expect development to be where the real challenges lie in 2022. “We’re all searching for land because we sold so much over the past 18 months. We have about a dozen lots left out of the 400 we had developed, so that tells you how hot the market is. It takes a couple of years to get a development ready, which means this is going to be an issue moving forward.”
He says that developing land is really a manufacturing business. “Developing land is the raw materials side of manufacturing. If the materials aren’t supplied, the manufacturing can’t happen.”
The other key “raw materials” in this business are presenting similar challenges—skilled labor and supply chain delays, as everyone in the industry has said. “Supply chain affects timing, which affects pricing, and the 30% rise in Canadian tariffs just in the last month drives lumber prices even higher. For most of our other vendors, being a large customer has helped Hubbell because they do their best to meet our orders (although that doesn’t change the tariff situation),” Tollakson says.
Unfortunately, no matter how much a supplier or subcontractor would like to meet those Hubbell demands, sometimes that’s just not possible in the current market.“With the increased pace of construction, skilled labor is even more of an issue,” he says. “I don’t see it getting better any time soon. The community only has the capacity to build what we have the people to do the work, and we’re nearing capacity.”
Hubbell has been confronted with the reality over the past year and expects more of the same in 2022, when contracted subs are unable to find skilled laborers to meet contract deadlines. “That’s just one more factor adding to the costs,” says Tollakson. “If you can even find skilled laborers, the market is so competitive, you have to pay more, and our costs will keep going up.”
Kimberley Development & Benchmark Builders
Business has been good for builders the past several years. Kimberley Development and Benchmark Builders’ Bill Kimberley expects 2022 to continue that trend.
But that doesn’t mean he expects it to be smooth sailing. “All the experts are indicating supply chain issues will continue at least the first half of 2022 if not longer,” he says. “All the pieces relate, from labor shortages to supply chain issues to material costs. And there’s no indication any of those will be changing any time soon.”
Those factors plus high demand are playing into rising home prices, which Kimberley says aren’t likely to level out this year. “I don’t expect they’ll be dropping in 2022,” Kimberley says. “Prices won’t see as big an increase, but they’re still likely to creep up some more from where they are today.”
In addition to continued high demand, he says the ongoing labor shortage and ever-expanding government regulations were already elevating home prices. And the pandemic-related challenges of the past couple years have just aggravated those conditions. “Unless something topples the economy, consumer demand and market conditions aren’t going to be changing in 2022.”
He doesn’t expect those issues to “topple the market.” However, Kimberley says he anticipates interest rates will rise modestly sometime during the next year. “Increases won’t be dramatic. That would slow the economy down too much,” he says. “No government wants to be the one to start an economic downturn, so they aren’t going to raise rates dramatically.”
The bigger concern, according to Kimberley, is to complete projects in a reasonable amount of time and within budget despite the numerous delaying factors and volatile market prices. “I can’t believe how long it takes to get land development approved. People not typically involved in land development are competing now, so land prices are skyrocketing, city officials are overwhelmed with plans to be approved, and there just aren’t enough people to process the paperwork,” he says.
Kimberley also says that city regulations are a factor, including lot size restriction. “In the late ’40s and ’50s, when the GI Bill made it possible for more people to buy homes, lot sizes were smaller. Fifty-foot-wide lots were much more common, which helped keep home prices affordable. In the ’70s, bigger lots became the norm, even for average-size homes. With costs the way they are now and lifestyles changing, home buyers are less focused on big lots and more concerned about price points. City regulations haven’t adjusted for that.
“All these things are playing into the higher home prices,” he says. “Contractors cannot get material. They don’t have enough labor to complete all the work they have. The only way to keep prices down as a developer is to put more lots on the same piece of ground. If we don’t do that, the cost ends up beyond people’s price point when things are changing as fast as they are.”
Adapting quickly to those unpredictable changes has been key for builders over the past two years, and that will remain true for 2022. “With nonstop supply chain issues, it’s taking two to three times longer to complete homes,” Kimberley says. “Most builders have adapted as much as they can to deal with that.”
As developer of the 2022 HomeShowExpo site, Kimberley had the development phase complete well ahead of the typical schedule, allowing builders to begin construction much earlier as well. “Everyone’s anticipating it’ll take longer to finish the home show houses, so they’re getting started earlier,” he says. “All you can do is adapt.”
& Tanzanite Homes
In some ways, dealing with the results of the pandemic has been much like dealing with any other change in the construction industry. Builders and developers have to adapt quickly.
“We’ve really had to be proactive to keep our build times as close to normal as possible and to be as accurate with lead times as we can when we really don’t know from day to day what those will be,” says Kirk Mickelsen of KRM Development and Tanzanite Homes. “We’ve had to walk back our process more and identify trigger points earlier in the time line so we can adjust our ordering times to stay on track,” he says.
Items such as windows have such lengthy lead times, KRM has been ordering them much earlier so that interior work can continue on schedule. And that schedule has had to change, too.
“A typical build used to be four to five months,” Mickelsen says, “but it’s five to six months now. You can only control what you can control. The other things you just deal with as they come up. You have to be proactive, so we ask ourselves, ‘How do we adjust if other things happen that we can’t control?’”
More than ever before, Mickelsen says vendor and subcontractor relationships are crucial to dealing with the unpredictability of the supply and labor shortages. “We are having interactions almost weekly with some of our vendors because of the volatility issues. That’s something we’ve never had to do before. But we’re trying to anticipate those changes so we can give our customers the best information and the best prices possible. Hopefully some of that crazy volatility will ease in 2022.”
One thing that might help ease that volatility is a rise in interest rates, although Mickelsen says the Fed rate would need to climb dramatically to have a significant impact on housing.
“Mortgage rates might see a slight increase, but that probably won’t have a major effect on the pace of construction or home sales. It could even cause a short burst of panic buying if those home buyers who’ve been sitting on the sidelines rush to buy before rates climb further. There’s also a segment of the market that sold homes during the peak this past year who haven’t purchased a home yet. I’d expect to see those buyers come into the market in 2022 and 2023 if prices level out.”
So many factors are playing into that pricing structure, Mickelsen says it’s nearly impossible to predict, but leveling out is more likely than home prices dropping. He does see glimmers of hope in the skilled-labor situation. He believes that will continue to be a challenge for some time.“Contractors have taken the initiative and started bringing people on board and training them alongside their skilled workers,” he says. “The problem is there aren’t enough skilled workers to train the number needed, so it’s going to be an issue for a while.”
Another positive sign to Mickelsen is the lot availability for 2022. “It seems there’s a little more consistency in what’s available at each price point. There were some pieces missing for a while, and getting lots to meet that entry-level price point is difficult with all the added costs right now. But there’s definitely more consistency than in the past.”
In the end, like other local professionals, Mickelsen sees another strong year for the metro construction market. “Housing is going to stay strong in 2022,” he says. “There will be challenges, but there always are. You just adapt where you can and deal with the rest.”
Do You Know
A Conversation With
A look at Houzz search data reveals emerging trends that signal what’s ahead for home remodeling and decorating.
With a community of over 65 million homeowners and home design enthusiasts and more than 2.7 million active home remodeling and design professionals, Houzz has unique insights into how people are designing and remodeling their homes. See the full list below, which includes kitchen, bath and outdoor design, as well as advances in universal design and sustainability.
- Multiple window banks
Many homeowners on Houzz dream of light and bright kitchens. One way to deliver that is with plenty of windows that stream in natural light. Long banks of multiple windows, sometimes on two or even three walls, create a space full of light, breeze — if the windows are operable — and views. Thanks to the rise of hardworking pantry walls, storage optimized island bases and lower cabinets that allow homeowners to skip upper cabinets, we anticipate homeowners to go with expansive runs of windows in 2022.
- A casual collected look
While the 2021 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study confirmed that all-white kitchens remain dominant, layered looks are gaining in popularity. We saw a dressed-up, collected style catching on last year, which will continue into 2022 albeit in a more casual, less-polished approach with softer, lighter paint colors, raw wood tones and a mix of cabinet fronts and styles. This light, layered design keeps the eye moving, creates visual texture and nuance, and delivers a style that appears put together over time in a relaxed way.
- Long and linear backsplash tile
White subway tile is a classic look for a kitchen backsplash, but many homeowners are searching for a modern twist on the material. White ceramic 4-by-12-inch tile appears to be the answer. The rectangle shape lends a timeless feel while its elongated form gives it a fresh, updated appearance. On Houzz, we see backsplashes with a subtle wavy or crackle glaze finish will add texture, or a herringbone pattern to give even more spin on the design.
- Hardworking storage
The right storage strategies can create a highly functional home. And while the general function of cabinetry hasn’t changed much over the years, the inside of cabinets has dramatically shifted. Pullouts bring pantry items from the back of cabinets to the front. Special shelves lift heavy appliances from a lower cabinet to countertop height. Drawer dividers organize plates and bowls. You can now have designated storage space for a paper towel roll, aluminum foil or baking sheets in the kitchen. In the bathroom, a drawer can house a blow dryer or other device next to an in-drawer outlet. We see cubbies for towels, hidden storage for laundry hampers and so much more in popular photos on Houzz.
- Multiple shower heads and sprays
A comfortable shower is an important bathroom feature but including multiple shower heads and sprays can elevate a shower experience from simple washing to luxurious pampering. More than half (55%) of homeowners who update their shower during a bathroom renovation choose a rain shower head, almost a quarter (23%) go for dual shower heads and 16% add body sprays, according to the 2021 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study. In addition to multiple shower heads, bathroom design pros on Houzz recommend installing a handheld sprayer too. These can be used for rinsing shaved legs, cleaning the shower walls or washing pets and kids.
- Stylish design for aging in place
Many homeowners embark on a renovation to create their forever home, and that means incorporating universal design principles that will assist with accessibility for years to come. These days, universal design prioritizes products and features that look as good as they are functional. Some grab bars, for example, come in trendy finishes like champagne bronze or matte black, and hide their function as a towel bar, doing double duty while still meeting the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines. Other accessible design features like curbless showers, non-slip flooring and shower benches have become desirable and stylish features for homeowners of all ages.
- Heated bathroom floors
When we asked more than 50 home design and remodeling professionals on Houzz what bathroom feature they most recommend to homeowners, one element rose above the rest: heated floors. A cold tile floor can ruin a spa-like experience, and heated floors are relatively inexpensive and easy to install during a renovation, making this feature a no-brainer.
- Desirable sustainability, efficiency
Sustainable building practices have long been a focus of environmentalists, but recent shifts in the global dialogue have brought the benefits for individual homeowners to the forefront, sparking a new wave of adoption. High-performance windows and solar panels help homeowners reduce energy use, which can also help homeowners save money. Native trees and grasses can help create water-efficient landscapes, but also attract pleasing wildlife. When personal benefits have a positive collateral impact on the world, everyone benefits.
- Outdoor living rooms that look like indoor rooms
Houzz search data has shown that people want their backyards to be relaxing extensions of their interior living spaces. The best way to do that is through mimicry. There have been major advances in outdoor materials in recent years, allowing manufacturers to create stylish and durable outdoor sofas, tables, rugs, chairs and decor. Add an outdoor fireplace, maybe a TV, and the line between indoors and out seemingly disappears.
- Outdoor privacy
As homeowners increasingly expand their available living space to the outdoors, many are hiring landscape pros on Houzz for screens, fences, plantings and other strategies that help create intimate spaces and separation from neighbors, or block an undesirable view. This might look like a vine-covered pergola, an outdoor screen around a private dining spot, or fencing for an outdoor shower or hot tub. Standalone structures are used as home offices, gyms, meditation areas or as extended living spaces to house relatives or kids who had to stay home from college due to the pandemic.
Do You Know
A Conversation With
Jenna Kimberley inducted as the 2022 President of the
Home Builders Association of Greater Des Moines.
Iowa may not be a trend-setting state in a lot of ways, but the construction industry here and the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater Des Moines are quietly leading the way for the rest of the nation. Incoming president Jenna Kimberley is part of the reason.
Three years ago, the HBA of Greater Des Moines became the first association in the country to elect an all-female leadership team. Since then, the Professional Women in Building Council has won back-to-back National Council of the Year awards, the 2020 HomeShowExpo won the national award for Best Parade or Tour of Homes, and the group received a national award for Best Membership Recruitment and Retention as well.
Kimberley says that energy is something she wants to continue as she steps into the lead role. “Rachel Flint and Kalen Ludwig, the previous two HBA presidents, both set incredible goals and continued building on the foundation they inherited. I want to make sure I honor continuing that momentum.”
Despite the tremendous challenges of leading during a worldwide pandemic, Flint and her HBA team were able to increase membership, organize virtual events to provide opportunities for member participation, and adapt the annual home show structure so that builders and attendees could feel safe and still enjoy the benefits the annual HomeShowExpo has always offered.
“We really had to regroup when everything got locked down and find a way to make the HomeShowExpo happen,” says Kimberley. “Despite everything, we had a successful tour, we met our budget, and we received the award for Best Parade or Tour of Homes.”
It wasn’t until the middle of this year that the group was able to consistently have typical in-person events. Kimberley says members have been eager to attend as those opportunities arose. “We’ve brought back our remodelers’ breakfasts and other regular events. And, of course, the President’s Night, which was held in November, is always a big night. Our industry has bounced back greater than most, but it matters that people show up and take part in those events in order to build that community and relationship with face-to-face opportunities.”
Ludwig’s ambition for her tenure during 2021 was to develop a culture of engagement, with more employees from member companies getting involved in the HBA of Greater Des Moines. Like Flint, she saw positive results.
“We’re 5% above the national average with member retention,” Kimberley says. “Even with COVID and the challenges over the past two years, we’re still at 89%, and that’s continuing to rise for our association.”
For 2022, Kimberley hopes to expand both Flint’s and Ludwig’s efforts, growing the membership and the level of engagement, too. “My goal is to reach 700 member companies, and we’re nearly there,” she says. “We added 40 new members with our membership drive this fall. And to continue Rachel’s and Kalen’s efforts, we want to encourage people not just to join but to show up, to be a part of what we’re doing. If you only come to an event once in a while, you don’t receive the full benefits of your membership.”
She says supporting one another through the HBA of Greater Des Moines events is only one aspect of that relationship. “I want to encourage members to do business with other members when possible. That adds another layer of connection, which not only helps everyone’s individual businesses succeed, it strengthens the impact of our organization as a whole when we understand the supply and regulatory burdens of other member partners. We can be more effective as an organization and in working through the issues that are impacting us,” she explains.
Much of her own understanding of the building and development business has come from following in her father’s footsteps. After a career in Washington, D.C., Kimberley was lured back to Iowa by the chance to work alongside dad, Bill Kimberley, at Kimberley Development in Ankeny. “I never expected to be back in Iowa, much less stepping into a role my dad held at the HBA when I was a baby. This has been really special, and having him there to speak at the President’s Night was even more special.”
As Bill says, when he served as the HBA of Greater Des Moines president 33 years ago, he was considered “the new guard,” and many of his ideas were met with skepticism. “I guess I’m part of the old guard now, seeing with my own eyes a new generation of leaders. With Jenna ready to lead the way with that same high energy and brave new ideas like we had back in the day, they’re going to take this association to even greater heights. I’ve always been proud of Jenna, and her passion to serve is evident in all the ways she gives back to this industry and to the community.”
Although things have changed significantly since Bill Kimberley served as president of the HBA of Greater Des Moines, Jenna Kimberley says he and the board on which he served did some groundbreaking work. “He was the first to hire a woman Executive Officer and to have women on the board. They set the precedent for leading the way and adapting to the changes in the industry.”
Kimberley says she hopes to carry on that legacy as well. “We’ve done a great job of diversifying the membership of the board. But as we’ve grown, it’s gotten harder to make sure everyone is heard. We want that diverse membership, and we want to hear the voices of every member. That’s a challenge I want to tackle.”
She also hopes to continue that diversity by encouraging more young people to enter the trades and more women to step into leadership positions in the organizations. Groups like the Skilled Trades Initiative and the Des Moines chapter of the Professional Women in Building Council (PWB) are part of that effort.
“We have an aging work force in the industry. Programs like Build My Future are key to changing that,” she says. “We need to continue supporting those programs so young people can see what a great life they can make for themselves in this industry.”
Des Moines’ PWB is evidence of that. “Our PWB has only been around for three years, and they’ve won Council of the Year twice,” Kimberley says. “They are doing great work. From 2019 to 2020, women in the industry grew from 10.3% to 10.9%. Continuing to bring more women into the construction labor force represents a tangible opportunity to solving the labor shortage.
But as the third female president of the HBA of Greater Des Moines in the past three years, Kimberley’s upcoming leadership team is all male. “You have to be a builder member and have served on the board in order to be eligible for the leadership ladder,” she explains. “We’ve got some very talented women in the HBA. I want to encourage their involvement at that level so we can have more women officers in the future.” Those women could include women like her, young people entering the skilled trades, or maybe the next generation of Kimberleys to join the family business.
Building on the legacy of the past and laying the groundwork for the future are both values from which Kimberley has benefited. They’re the same values with which she is quietly leading the way as HBA of Greater Des Moines President.
Do You Know
A Conversation With
New Zillow data finds pet owners are more likely to purchase larger homes with more bedrooms.
New Zillow data* finds pandemic pet ownership is soaring among home buyers, impacting the types of homes they are likely to buy. Zillow’s 2021 Consumer Housing Trends Report finds nearly three-quarters of home buyers report having at least one pet at home (73%), a big jump from the 64% of buyers who reported having a pet in 2020.
Pet owners are more likely to buy larger homes with more bedrooms. Buyers with at least one pet are more likely than those without pets to buy a home larger than 3,000 square feet (17% versus 10%). About one-third of buyers with a pet (36%) purchased a home with four bedrooms or more, compared to one-quarter of buyers without pets (24%).
Zillow’s research also indicates that buyers with pets are more likely to consider private outdoor space very or extremely important (73%) compared to buyers without pets (65%). Conversely, buyers without pets are nearly twice as likely to purchase a condo or buy into a housing co-op (14%) than buyers with pets (8%).
“Pets are widely considered part of the American family, so it follows that they can factor into moving decisions,” says Manny Garcia, a population scientist at Zillow. “This research shows an increase in pet ownership among recent movers and suggests that pets can impact housing preferences. In some cases, they may even be the catalyst for a move, along with other factors, such as remote work and shifting family priorities.”
Pandemic movers on the whole have been moving into larger, more affordable homes. Pet-owning buyers skew slightly younger than a typical home buyer without any pets — 41 years old versus 47 years old. They’re also more likely to have children in the home, which may help explain why they’re more apt to purchase larger homes with more bedrooms.
Previous research done by Zillow and Rover specifically on dog owners found the majority of those surveyed (62%) say they would consider moving to a new home to better accommodate their pup. A Zillow report on 2020 home sales found certain pet-friendly features can contribute to a higher sale price or a faster-than-expected sale. Homes that advertise a doghouse in their listing description can sell for 3% more than expected, while homes advertising a fenced backyard or a dog run can sell up to five days faster.
Significant increases in pet ownership were also seen among renters in 2021, but at a lower rate than home buyers. More renters now report owning at least one pet (57%) compared to 2020 (51%). Pet ownership has decreased among homeowners surveyed; 61% of homeowners reported having at least one pet in 2021, down from 67% in 2020.