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NAHB: Homebuyers Can Afford Higher Priced Homes – Not Fire Sprinklers?

Reposted from the National Fire Protection Association’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog:

By Maria Figueroa

According to an article from Housing Wire, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is convincing buyers that they can afford a higher priced new home by utilizing data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing & Urban Development.

The report tells us that NAHB also studied the first year after tax costs of owning a home — purchase price, mortgage payments, annual operating costs and income tax savings — which revealed that a buyer can afford to pay 23% more for a new home than a property built before 1960 and still maintain the same amount of first-year annual costs.

This reflects a prior prediction by LPS Applied Analytics that home prices could jump as much as 35% without affecting affordability.

This new assertion by the NAHB presents evidence of its disingenuous arguments against home fire sprinklers. An NFPA 13D home fire sprinkler system is only estimated to add about 1 – 1 ½ % to the cost of a new home, yet opponents of home fire sprinklers – mainly the NAHB – maintain that the addition of this minimum fire safety requirement will price people out of homes. Doesn’t this new assertion impact their credibility and blows this argument out of the water?

Many states have prohibited jurisdictions from requiring fire sprinklers in new home construction. According to U.S. Census Bureau, there is a housing boom starting. Millions of homebuyers will be deprived of this cost-efficient and effective model code requirement that will save their lives and property in the event of fire in their homes for many generations to come.

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