Builder confidence slips in March
Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes paused for a third consecutive month in March, falling two points to 44 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).
“Following eight consecutive months of improvement, builder confidence leveled off in January and has since edged down several points,” said NAHB chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “Although many of our members are reporting increased demand for new homes in their markets, their enthusiasm is being tempered by frustrating bottlenecks in the supply chain for developed lots along with rising costs for building materials and labor. At the same time, problems with appraisals and credit availability remain considerable obstacles to completing deals.”
While the HMI component gauging current sales conditions declined four points to 47, the component gauging sales expectations in the next six months and the component gauging traffic of prospective buyers both posted gains, of one point to 51 and three points to 35, respectively, in March.
Three-month moving averages for each region’s HMI score were also mixed. The Northeast was unchanged at 39; the Midwest and South posted one-point declines to 47 and 46, respectively; and the West registered a four-point increase to 58.
Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 25 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “”high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores from each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.
Wow, no kidding. Gas prices
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EPA endorses 3M lead testing kits for drywall
A product linked to the Environmental Protection Agency’s lead paint rule has been approved for use on drywall and plaster.
The 3M LeadCheck Swabs, in compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP), are now recognized by the EPA for use on drywall and plaster.
The swaps are designed to turn red in the presence of lead and were the first commercially available lead test kit recognized by the EPA for use on painted wood and metal.
“We are hearing from contractors that they are pleased to have an easy, low-cost option that’s now recognized for use on drywall and plaster,” said Wade Bowman, brand manager, 3M Construction and Home Improvement Markets. “In just 30 seconds, the 3M LeadCheck Swabs turn red if lead is present. Now contractors can choose to do their testing with one simple test kit.”
To achieve the latest EPA recognition for drywall and plaster, 3M LeadCheck Swabs underwent a testing process, results of which were reviewed and approved by the EPA and took into account factors such as ease of use, toxicity of chemicals used, average cost and average time of kit operation as well as overall performance.
Since April 22, 2010, contractors performing renovation, repair and painting (RRP) projects in pre-1978 homes, schools and daycare facilities are required to be certified and follow lead-safe work practices. This EPA-issued RRP Rule is aimed at preventing lead poisoning. The rule continues to face opposition from industry groups.
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Dave & Buster’s hires former HD real estate exec
Dave & Buster’s, Inc., the chain of restaurant/entertainment outlets, has named John Mulleady as its senior VP development. In addition to overseeing all real estate and construction projects, Mulleady will lead the company’s expansion strategy, driving D&B’s growth into new and under-penetrated markets. Dave & Buster’s currently has 59 locations in the U.S. and Canada, and expects to open several more in the near future.
Mulleady has 23 years of development experience, most recently as VP real estate and construction at BJ’s Wholesale Club, where his duties included site identification, lease negotiation, design, permitting and construction. Prior to that, Mulleady was VP real estate and construction at Circuit City, developing more than 100 stores. Mulleady also worked for Wal-Mart International in Argentina and Home Depot in the United States, Argentina, Chile, and Mexico.
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