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Boozer Lumber goes out of business

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Boozer Lumber, a two-unit dealer founded in 1946, closed its doors last week after six decades in the lumber business. The Columbia, S.C.-base dealer, which operated a home center and lumberyard, along with a showroom and component manufacturing facility, served South Carolina and parts of North Carolina and Georgia. The business generated $46 million in revenues in 2006, according to the Home Channel News Top 350 Pro Dealer list.

The decision to shut down Boozer Lumber was made last month when owner Dale Boozer, whose father founded the company, could not find a buyer, according to an article in The State, a local newspaper. The pro dealer spent approximately $4 million on expansions and upgrades in 2005 and 2006, according to the newspaper.

The business continued to ship its final orders but has been selling off inventory, equipment and property over the past few weeks. Approximately 160 people lost their jobs as a result of the closure, which became official on July 25.

Atelephone recording at Boozer’s headquarters now says that the company is “regrettably no longer open for business.”

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NAHB executive to deliver keynote speech

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Jerry Howard, executive vp and CEO of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), will deliver the builder keynote address on Oct. 3 at the 2008 ProDealer Industry Summit. The three-day event, scheduled from Oct. 1 to 3 in Chantilly, Va., is a joint conference of the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) and Home Channel News.

Howard has led the NAHB’s lobbying efforts to pressure federal lawmakers to pass a first-time home buyer tax credit and other housing stimulus legislation. A former chief lobbyist for the National Council of State Housing Agencies, Howard has testified before Congress numerous times on a wide range of issues.

Another Washington insider, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, will kick off the conference at the Westfields Marriott. Ivy Zelman, one of the building industry’s most widely recognized analysts, will deliver her industry outlook.

Other educational sessions will include strategies for running a tight credit operation, preparing for the next wave of Energy Star requirements and how the downturn has changed builders’ attitudes toward their suppliers.

Agolf tournament benefitting the City of Hope will round out the social networking events and tabletop exhibits. For more information about the conference, visit  www.prodealer.com.

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New home sales down slightly in June

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Sales of newly built single-family homes dipped 0.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 530,000 units in June from an upwardly revised pace the previous month, the Commerce Department reported July 25.

According to NAHB president Sandy Dunn, a home builder from Point Pleasant, W.Va., the weak sales numbers further demonstrate the need for the housing and economic stimulus bill, which is nearing final passage in the U.S. Senate.

“Once signed by the President, this legislation will boost confidence in the housing finance system, bring some stability to the overall market and stimulate sales as first-time buyers start taking advantage of a tax credit of up to $7,500,” Dunn said.

NAHB chief economist David Seiders said that on the positive side, the report shows that builders are making some progress on reducing the inventory of unsold units. According to the report, the inventory of new homes for sale eased down 5.3 percent in June to 426,000 units. This represented a 10-month supply at the current sales pace, compared to a 10.4-month supply in May.

Regionally, sales activity was mixed in June, with the Northeast and Midwest posting respective gains of 5.3 percent and 2.5 percent, and the South and West posting respective declines of 2 percent and 0.9 percent. All regions registered declines in the number of new homes for sale.

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