Building Industry Association (BIA) of Fresno/Madera Counties, Calif. Hosts Forum to Examine Where Region is Headed

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Forum panelists discussed local housing market and the future of agriculture and water usage in the region

Tim Sullivan of Meyers Research speaking at the BIA of Fresno/Madera Counties, Calif.

Tim Sullivan of Meyers Research, the featured speaker at a recent panel discussion held by the Building Industry Association (BIA) of Fresno/Madera Counties.

"The BIA started these forums to engage, lead and share knowledge and research on the challenges and opportunities facing us,” said Brent McCaffrey, chairman of the board of the Building Industry Association of Fresno/Madera Counties.

Research on the future of the Fresno-Madera region was presented to a packed house at a Building Industry Association (BIA) forum.

The event was held on Sept. 8, 2016, at Pardini’s and was sold out, with more than 110 people attending. The featured speaker was Tim Sullivan of Meyers Research, who is regarded as one of the country’s leading market experts in residential feasibility studies, strategic planning, and product development. He was joined by panelists Norm Allinder, Madera County planning director; Bernard Jimenez, deputy director of planning for Fresno County; and PlaceWorks president Randy Jackson, who has prepared general and specific plans for many local jurisdictions.

Research presented included:

  • In the last recession, Fresno home values declined by -42.5 percent and today they’re currently at -20.7 percent.
  • There are a significant number of potential homebuyers waiting on the sidelines. Those who dealt with short sales and bankruptcies in 2010 will be ready to come back to the market after 7 years, which will be 2017.
  • Top amenities that influence buyers to purchase are walking/jogging trails, park areas and open space.
  • Open space in home development is the new trend and builds long-term value into communities.

Other topics discussed by the panelists included the future of agriculture and water usage in the region.

“While Madera County will evolve significantly in the next 10 to 20 years, we continue to work closely with the agricultural community to protect ag lands,” said Norm Allinder, Madera County planning director. “Of the 700,000 acres that our county has zoned for agriculture, 500,000 of that is currently under the California Land Conservation Act, and we’ll add several hundred more acres into the Land Conservation Act this year.”

“As mandated by the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014, we’re working with other affected agencies to develop a comprehensive plan for basin-wide groundwater management,” said Bernard Jimenez, deputy director of planning for Fresno County. “This is something that will impact everyone as we either have to reduce our water usage or find a way to bring water into the area. We will need to have an extensive plan in place by 2020 to achieve long-term groundwater sustainability.”

“Our sell-out crowd was an indication of the strong interest in the future of our region. The BIA started these forums to engage, lead and share knowledge and research on the challenges and opportunities facing us,” said Brent McCaffrey, president of McCaffrey Homes and chairman of the board of the Building Industry Association of Fresno/Madera Counties.

“This forum was so popular that many in attendance have asked us to host it again next year which we hope to do," McCaffrey added. "It’s a great way to look at the latest research while opening the discussion up with the public about where our region is headed. ”

About the BIA of Fresno/Madera Counties

Established in 1947, the Building Industry Association of Fresno/Madera Counties is a membership-based organization representing builders, developers, subcontractors, and affiliated businesses in the residential, commercial, and industrial building industry in Fresno and Madera Counties. The mission of BIAFM is to cooperate with all branches of government and with other community organizations to promote housing affordability and economic development in Fresno and Madera Counties. For more information, please visit http://www.biafm.org.

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