ABC Supply rebrands Bradco units
ABC Supply has announced that it will rename six of its Bradco Supply units in the Midwest as ABC Supply locations as of Jan. 3, 2011. The stores are in Wauconda and Alsip, Ill.; Warren, Mich.; Hazelwood, Mo.; Omaha, Neb.; and Indianapolis, Ind.
The Beloit, Wis.-based firm acquired Bradco Supply in 2010, adding 128 units in 30 states to its national footprint. The combination of the two companies created the nation’s largest distributor of roofing, siding, windows, and other exterior products. ABC Supply now operates more than 450 branches in 44 states and the District of Columbia.
Owens Corning to sell masonry division
Owens Corning has signed an agreement to sell its masonry division, which makes Owens Corning Cultured Stone exterior siding, to Boral Industries in a two-part transaction, the company announced.
The building products supplier will sell a 50% stake in its masonry products unit to Boral Industries for $45 million at closing, and the unit will then be operated jointly until early 2014. At that time, Owens Corning will sell its remaining 50% stake for $45 million and may receive additional proceeds dependent upon 2013 financial performance.
The transaction is expected to close by year-end and is subject to regulatory approval.
Based in Toledo, Ohio, Owens Corning is a maker of insulation, roofing, windows and manufactured stone siding. Boral is based in Australia. The company’s U.S. division makes bricks, roof tiles and other construction products.
California home sales rise in November
Sales of existing, single-family homes in California rose 9.2% in November, compared with the previous month, although overall sales were down from November 2009.
These statewide statistics, collected by the California Association of Realtors, also showed a median price decline from both the previous month and the previous year. The median price of an existing, single-family detached home sold in California fell below the $300,000 mark for the first time since February. The November 2010 median price was $296,820, down 2.4% from October’s $304,220 median price and down 2.5% from the $304,550 median price recorded for the same period a year ago. It was the first year-over-year price decline in a year.
The report coincided with the National Association of Realtors’ release of national figures showing a 5.6% increase in existing-home sales for November.
In California, there is a mixed picture. “We are encouraged by November’s sales increase, but realize a more sustained recovery is being hampered by the distressed market,” said Beth Peerce, the association’s president. “While we are experiencing a greater share of short sales, these transactions are notoriously difficult to navigate with no guarantee of closure.” A recent survey conducted by the realtors’ association found that lenders typically take 90 days or more to communicate whether a short has been accepted, causing frustration for buyers and sellers.
“Moreover, the survey found that more than two out of five short sale transactions never close,” Peerce said. “The housing market can’t fully recover until lenders streamline and improve the short sales process, which would help expedite transactions.”
The survey also found that the unsold inventory of existing, single-family detached homes was 6.2 months in November, down from 6.5 months in October. This compares with 4.5 months in November 2009. The unsold inventory index indicates the number of months needed to deplete the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.