April existing-home sales slip
Existing-home sales decreased 0.8% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million from a downwardly revised 5.09 million in March, according to the National Association of Realtors. The April rate is 12.9% below a 5.80 million pace in April 2010; sales surged in April and May 2010 due to the home buyer tax credit.
“Given the great affordability conditions, job creation and pent-up demand, home sales should be stronger,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Although existing-home sales are expected to trend up unevenly through next year, unnecessarily tight credit is continuing to restrain the market, along with a steady level of low appraisals that result in contract cancellations.”
The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $163,700 in April, down 5% from April 2010. Distressed homes accounted for 37% of sales in April, down from 40% in March, but up from 33% in April 2010.
Total housing inventory at the end of April increased 9.9% to 3.87 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 9.2-month supply at the current sales pace, up from an 8.3-month supply in March.
Single-family home sales dropped 0.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.42 million in April from 4.44 million in March, and are 12.6% below the 5.06 million-pace in April 2010. The median existing single-family home price was $163,200 in April, 5.4% below a year ago.
Existing condominium and co-op sales fell 3.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 630,000 in April from 650,000 in March, and are 15% below the 741,000-unit level one year ago. The median existing condo price was $167,300 in April, down 2.3% from April 2010.
Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast fell 7.5% to an annual pace of 740,000 in April and are 32.1% below a year-ago surge. In the Midwest, existing-home sales rose 5.7% to 1.12 million but are 16.4% below a cyclical peak in April 2010. In the South, existing-home sales declined 1% to an annual pace of 1.95 million in April and are 9.3% below a year ago. Existing-home sales in the West dropped 1.6% to an annual level of 1.24 million in April and are 0.8% below April 2010.
Beacon Roofing Supply expands in Canada
Beacon Roofing Supply, one of the nation’s largest distributors of roofing, siding and other exterior building products, has announced the acquisition of Enercon Products, a roofing distributor with six locations in western Canada. Headquartered in Edmonton, Enercon also has branches in Calgary, Regina and Saskatoon, along with two branches in Vancouver. It generated annual sales of approximately $45 million in 2010.
Justin Rumpel, who will remain as Enercon’s general manager after the acquisition, said: "We are very pleased to be joining Beacon as it expands its presence into western Canada. We are confident that Beacon will provide the resources and know-how needed to assist with our long-term growth plans.”
Paul Isabella, president and CEO of Beacon, emphasized the strategic fit of the Enercon acquisition in the announcement. "Enercon has a track record of strong performance and provides us with an excellent opportunity to expand into Western Canada, giving Beacon a presence in every major Canadian market,” he said.
Based in Peabody, Mass., Beacon operates 185 branches in 37 states and six provinces in Canada. Sales for its 2010 fiscal year were $1.61 billion.
KB Home introduces LEED Platinum Calif. community
Los Angeles-based KB Home has unveiled Primera Terra, one of the largest communities of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum-certified homes in California, according to the home builder. The 52 luxury condominium homes in Playa Vista are built with sustainable materials and are equipped with energy- and water-saving features.
According to KB Home, the homes at Primera Terra are at least 40% more energy-efficient than California’s Title 24 new home standards, with estimated heating and cooling costs as little as $57 per month. KB Home will include its new Energy Performance Guide or EPG, which provides an estimate of monthly heating and cooling costs.
"Primera Terra is our first LEED Platinum-certified community in a prime location on the Westside of Los Angeles, and once again shows how focused we are as a company in being an industry leader and innovator in the area of environmental sustainability," said Jeffrey Mezger, president and CEO of KB Home. "Consumers may not be familiar with the LEED program, so we want to show home shoppers how these new KB homes can deliver incredible value to their owners, while setting a higher standard for environmentally conscious living."
Primera Terra offers six floor plans, ranging in size from 965 sq. ft. to 1,504 sq. ft., with up to three bedrooms and two baths. Built-in green include tankless water heaters, Energy Star-qualified appliances and lighting, high-efficiency windows and WaterSense-labeled faucets and toilets. All homes will also have an energy monitoring system that tracks electricity usage throughout the day, on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, from any computer or Web-enabled mobile device.
In addition, Primera Terra homes maximize fresh air indoors with combustion venting, an active ventilation system and exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens. Low-VOC paint and flooring also reduces toxins that can contribute to poor indoor air quality.