Despite obstacles, NAHB sees slow improvement
The National Association of Home Builders took encouragement from a nearly 4% increase in single family housing starts in October.
The government’s numbers for October housing production are very much in keeping with what home builders have been telling us in our recent surveys,” said Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Reno, Nev. “While we still have a long way to go toward a recovery, some signs of hope are emerging in certain markets where economic and job growth is occurring and where foreclosures have not been an overwhelming obstacle.”
Also positive from yesterday’s residential construction report from the Commerce Department was a double-digit increase in building permits.
“The three-month moving averages for both housing production and permitting activity have been gradually rising since this spring, which is consistent with our forecast for slow improvement in market conditions through the end of this year and a positive sign that a more solid recovery will begin to take hold in 2012,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “That said, the improvements we are seeing are still limited to scattered local markets where economies are improving, and obstacles such as tight credit conditions for builders and buyers, appraisal issues stemming from new homes being compared to distressed properties, and consumer concerns about job security are definitely slowing the progression of both a housing and economic recovery.”
Wolseley sells remaining shares in Stock
The Gores Group, the primary owner of Stock Building Supply, has bought the remaining shares of the LBM company from UK-based Wolseley for an undisclosed sum. A private equity firm based in Boulder, Colo., and London, The Gores Group acquired a controlling interest in Stock on May 5, 2009.
Wolseley was associated with Stock for 27 years and still owns plumbing and HVAC wholesaler Ferguson Enterprises in the United Sates and Canada.
“We have high expectations for Stock, and this transaction solidifies our position in the company,” said Ryan Wald, managing director of The Gores Group. “Stock is well-situated to weather the downturn and is capable of rapid growth as the market recovers. This additional investment will allow us to participate fully in the growth of Stock and the recovery of the housing market.”
Jeff Rea, CEO of Stock, said: “The Gores Group is an exceptional partner and has provided the support and leadership needed to re-position Stock in these turbulent times. This additional investment by Gores is a sign of confidence in our associates and our strategy, and we look forward to working collaboratively with The Gores Group in the future.
“We appreciate our 27-year association with Wolseley and look forward to accelerating our company’s growth and performance with The Gores Group.”
Based in Raleigh, N.C., Stock operates in numerous U.S. markets, including Washington, D.C.; Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte and Winston-Salem/Greensboro, N.C.; Los Angeles; Atlanta; Paradise, Pa.; Richmond, Va.; Greenville and Columbia, S.C.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Salt Lake City and southern Utah; Spokane/northern Idaho; central and northwest Arkansas and Austin, Amarillo, Houston, Lubbock and San Antonio, Texas.
Fiberon introduces new colors for Pro-Tect
Demand in the wood-alternative decking market is driven by aesthetics, according to Fiberon marketing director Edie Kello.
Fiberon, the manufacturer of PVC and composite decking and railing products, is introducing an expanded color palette for the new Pro-Tect capped composite decking line. The new Pro-Tect Chestnut and Gray Birch colors add exotic aesthetics to low- maintenance outdoor living products.
The strong, rigid core of Pro-Tect Decking is encased on three sides in a patent-pending, non-organic surface material that is extremely resistant to staining, fading, scratches and mold, according to the company.
The new product carries an "entry level price point," the company said. It also carries a 20-year warranty for performance, stain and fade.