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CoreLogic: Home prices trending up

BY Brae Canlen

An analysis of home prices released by CoreLogic, a provider of information, analytics and business services, reported a 4.6% rise in home prices nationwide in August 2012. This change represents the biggest year-over-year increase since July 2006. On a month-over-month basis, including distressed sales, home prices increased by 0.3% in August 2012 compared to July 2012.

The August 2012 figures mark the sixth consecutive increase in home prices nationally on both a year-over-year and month-over-month basis. The Home Price Index (HPI) analysis from CoreLogic shows that all but six states are experiencing price gains.

Excluding distressed sales, home prices nationwide increased on a year-over-year basis by 4.9% in August 2012 compared with August 2011. On a month-over-month basis excluding distressed sales, home prices increased 1% in August 2012 compared with July 2012, also the sixth consecutive month-over-month increase. Distressed sales include short sales and real estate owned (REO) transactions.

CoreLogic predicts that September 2012 home prices, including distressed sales, will rise by 5% on a year-over-year basis from September 2011 and fall by 0.3% on a month-over-month basis from August 2012 as the summer buying season closes out. Excluding distressed sales, September 2012 house prices are expected to rise 6.3% year-over-year from September 2011 and by 0.6% month-over-month from August 2012.

"Again this month prices rose on a year-over-year basis, and our expectation is for that to continue in September based on our pending HPI forecast," said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. "The housing markets gains are increasingly geographically diverse with only six states continuing to show declining prices."

"Sustained economic recovery in the U.S. requires a healthy housing market. You cannot have a healthy housing market without price stabilization and ultimately home price appreciation," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "Improving pricing trends over the past few months, and our forecast for continued gains in September bode well for a progressive rebound in the residential housing market."

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Former N.J. cop gets probation for shoplifting

BY Ken Clark

A former New Jersey police officer accused of stealing approximately $500 of laminate flooring from Home Depot has been sentenced to one year of probation, according to an article in the New Jersey Herald. 

Darnell Esdaile, 47, was facing a possible 10-year sentence for exiting a Home Depot store in Freehold Township with unpaid merchandise on Nov. 11, 2010. Testimony at his trial revealed that Esdaile had visited the store an hour before his arrest and loaded eight boxes of laminate flooring on a flatbed cart, as well as a steam mop. Esdaile approached the cashier, advised her that he had already paid for the flooring and simply wanted to be charged for the mop.

When Esdaile failed to produce a receipt for his alleged purchase, the cashier alerted store security. Esdaile ultimately set the steam mop aside and proceeded to another register where he paid for the eight boxes of laminate flooring with a credit card.

After loading the purchased merchandise into his car, Esdaile proceeded back into the store with the same flatbed cart and reselected the same type of flooring in the same exact quantity. Additionally, he placed six pieces of quarter-round molding on the flatbed cart, along with the flooring. Esdaile then made his way to a register, where he dealt with another cashier and showed her a receipt for the earlier purchased flooring. At that time, Esdaile indicated to the cashier that he had already purchased the flooring, but had forgotten to purchase the quarter-round molding. He showed the cashier his receipt for the first batch of laminate flooring, purchased just minutes before, and requested to be rung up only for the molding.

When Esdaile attempted to leave the store with the unpaid flooring, he was stopped by Home Depot security. They escorted him to an office within the store until officers from the Freehold Township police department arrived.

Esdaile was found guilty of shoplifting, a fourth degree crime. After the verdict, the defendant was ordered to immediately forfeit his position as a police officer with the Freehold Borough police department.

Esdaile was a patrolman since 1996 and earned $99,402 a year.

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Energizer brings Power Seal Technology to the U.S.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Energizer has introduced its Energizer MAX brand batteries with Power Seal Technology to the United States. Power Seal Technology was first launched in Asia in 2009.

Power Seal Technology gives these batteries better power retention to hold power longer. Improvements include a stepped can construction to improve clamping effectiveness, a sealant application, nylon ring seal insertion, and improved storage and drying processes to reinforce the sealing effect before packing.

“We are excited to launch Power Seal Technology in the U.S. and strongly believe this innovation will give consumers confidence that they’ll always have power when they need it most,” said Michelle Atkinson, VP North America marketing for Energizer.

Several months ago, Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA batteries got a power boost with a re-tooled formula, including improved materials and construction. They now last up to nine times longer in digital cameras, and Energizer Ultimate Lithium AAA batteries also last up to nine times longer in digital cameras. 

“Power Seal Technology takes reliable performance to a new level. We’re proud to demonstrate that we will continue to be a technology leader and deliver the products that retailers and consumers expect from the Energizer brand,” Atkinson said.

Power Seal Technology labeled packages are appearing at retail now.

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