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APA forecasts 10% increase in housing

BY HBSDEALER Staff

For the first time in several years, all of the major end-use markets for wood products are expected to move in concert and increase this year. Housing, the largest market for many products, is expected to increase 10% this year when U.S. and Canadian starts are combined, according to APA — The Engineered Wood Association.

“There is a little more life to engineered wood demand this year. Last year, we were just treading water,” said Craig Adair, APA’s market research director. “This year, we’re expecting demand to pick up from 4% to 11% depending on the product.”

Although the Great Recession in the U.S. ended in mid-2009, the recovery has been uneven, and only now is the U.S. economy showing signs of sustainable growth. Adair noted that single-family housing is still plagued with several obstacles, including banks that are reluctant to lend and more foreclosures on the way. Single-family construction is expected to improve in 2012, but it should have a more meaningful recovery in 2013. 

“It may not be a lack of consumer demand that’s holding housing back; it’s more likely a financial system that currently doesn’t freely accommodate residential mortgages, and it could take years to repair and reorganize the system,” Adair said. Meanwhile, the demand for rental housing is so great that apartment construction has picked up along with a wave of investment in existing single-family rental housing.” 

Nonresidential construction is showing signs of a turnaround in 2012. Remodeling and industrial markets are expected to increase again in 2012. Exports to Asia, Mexico and the Caribbean should continue to improve.

 

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U.S. Home Systems reports strong Q4

BY HBSDealer Staff

U.S. Home Systems has reported fourth-quarter net income of $927,000, up 30.9% from $708,000 in the prior-year fourth quarter. Revenues in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011, increased to $38.7 million from $38.0 million.

New orders increased to $37.9 million in the fourth quarter from $37.2 million in the fourth quarter a year ago.

Full-year net income totaled $4.7 million, compared with $2.1 million in the prior year. Full-year revenues increased 13.1% to $164.9 million from $145.9 million in 2010.

New orders for the full year increased 11.7% to $166.1 million from $148.6 million in 2010. 

"We overcame economic challenges and issues related to lower credit approval rates for our customers to deliver another year of increased new orders during 2011,” said Murray Gross, chairman and CEO. “Resolving the credit approval rate remains a top priority. Nevertheless, we are very confident that we will continue to deliver solid performance in 2012." 

The company expects first-quarter 2012 revenue of $40.5 million, compared with revenues of $39.0 million in the first quarter of 2011. 

U.S. Home Systems’ product lines include kitchen cabinet refacing products, bathroom remodeling products, storage organization systems for closets and garages and related accessories.

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Evans Lumber to close in West Virginia

BY HBSDealer Staff

According to an article in the Marietta Times, Evans Lumber Co. in South Charleston, W. Va., is closing at the end of the month after 82 years as a family-run business. 

The third-generation family business hit problems that grew from a poor economy, competition and changing customer habits.

Owner Don Evans described one of the problems to the newspaper this way: "Independents are more sensitive to their customers’ needs, where big-box stores are sensitive to what product they can sell for a good profit. We’re suffering from the very thing we pushed for so many years," he said. "We have people who call our salespeople for questions, then buy at Lowe’s." 

According to the article, Don’s father, Walter “Pat” Evans, never missed a day of work. Pat died in 1995. The store took on its Do it Best branding in 1996.

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r.rendommotion11 says:
May-19-2012 05:43 am

I am interested in this topic
I am interested in this topic and would like to find out some more information as my friend need information on this topic. Do you have any other articles about this? Peter

D.Norton says:
Mar-28-2012 04:30 pm

Wow, makes that comment about
Wow, makes that comment about "momentum" in the consumer confidence article sound like BS doesn't it. Another good independent dealer shuts down. Some friggin recovery.

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