LUMBERYARDS

Brighter picture on housing from Case-Shiller

BY Brae Canlen

Home prices across the nation rose for the second month in a row, according to the S&P/Case Shiller Index, a closely watched indicator for the housing market. The average price of single-family, residential homes in the United States increased by 2.2% in May 2012 compared with the previous month for both the 10- and 20-city composites. On an annual basis, both composites and 17 of the 20 MSAs saw increases in May compared with April 2011. The exceptions were Boston, Charlotte and Detroit.

Taking the longer view, average home prices across the United States in May 2012 are back to their spring 2003 levels for the 20-city composite and summer 2003 levels for the 10-city composite.

“We have observed two consecutive months of increasing home prices and overall improvements in monthly and annual returns,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “However, we need to remember that spring and early summer are seasonally strong buying months, so this trend must continue throughout the summer and into the fall.”

Phoenix posted the best annual return again this month. Average home prices in that region were up 11.5% versus May 2011. Although prices are still more than 50% below their June 2006 peak, the past five months have been positive for that market, according to the report. Las Vegas posted a positive monthly change in May and saw an improvement in its annual return. But the market is still more than 60% below its August 2006 peak. 

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ABC Supply named partner of choice

BY Ken Clark

For the sixth time, building products supplier ABC Supply Co. has been honored with a “Partners of Choice” Award from David Weekley Homes. The company received “A” rankings in both service and quality. Out of a field of approximately 150 companies, ABC Supply is one of only 12 “A, A” winners this year and one of only 18 “Partners of Choice” recipients overall.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2012, Beloit, Wis.-based ABC Supply is the largest wholesale distributor of roofing in the United States and one of the nation’s largest distributors of siding, windows and other select exterior building products. David Weekley Homes, headquartered in Houston, operates in 16 cities across the United States and is the third-largest for-profit, privately held home builder in the United States.

“We are honored to again be named a ‘Partner of Choice,’” said Brent Fox, ABC Supply’s VP national business development. “We work hard to build strong partnerships with our customers and contribute to their success. This is a sign that we’re doing the right things and are providing the combination of products and service that our customers value."

David Weekley Homes implemented its comprehensive supplier evaluation system and the “Partners of Choice” Award in 2004. The proprietary evaluation platform allows the company to analyze the performance of its suppliers in diverse industries, provide feedback and recognize top achievers.

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Celebrating 100 years, Kuiken Brothers gives back

BY Ken Clark

New Jersey-based, nine-unit pro dealer Kuiken Brothers completed a three-day volunteer commitment to Paterson Habitat for Humanity’s 2012 Corporate Challenge. Forty-five Kuiken Brothers employees, collectively, volunteered 360 man-hours on a new home construction project in Paterson, N.J.

The event was one way for Kuiken Brothers to celebrate its 100th anniversary.

“The Paterson Habitat for Humanity Corporate Challenge is a way for Kuiken Brothers’ employees to further participate in our local communities,” said Douglas Kuiken, president of Kuiken Brothers. “Kuiken Brothers and its employees decided to become actively involved in providing their time and talent to Paterson Habitat as part of our 100th anniversary celebration plans. It feels great to contribute not only financially and with goods and services, but also with good old-fashion hard work. It’s personally fulfilling as well as a team-building experience for all of us.” 

This year’s Corporate Challenge involved more than three dozen companies from the tri-state area. Teams of employees worked half-day shifts during the four-week fundraiser. At lunch, volunteers met incoming families and Habitat staff members so they could put faces behind their efforts. One hundred percent of funds raised by this event goes toward building Paterson Habitat houses.

“Kuiken Brothers is a valued corporate partner as well as a valued vendor,” said Gina Damiano, Paterson Habitat for Humanity resource development manager. “The company has worked closely with Paterson Habitat since our first building project in 1984.”

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