Lower Builder Trade Show Numbers Reflect Industry Concern

San Francisco–Two years ago, the annual Pacific Coast Builders Conference and trade show in San Francisco drew 35,000 building professionals; this year, housing market woes cut attendance to just 18,000 to 20,000, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.Sinking home values, foreclosures, hesitant buyers and credit issues have slowed home sales–and demand for new homes, which has reduced business for homebuilders.”Why sugarcoat it?” said John Frith, spokesman for the California Building Industry Association, which represents more than 7,000 homebuilders, remodelers, subcontractors, architects, engineers, designers and other industry professionals. “It’s ugly; it’s brutal [in the housing market now.] People need to know that, and the policy makers need to know that.”Homebuilders are hoping state and federal lawmakers will rectify the rocky housing market.They are urging the government to provide a tax credit for home buyers to spur home sales and hope Congress will make the current higher conforming loan limit permanent to reduce the cost of mortgages in pricey markets like California.