Double-digit declines in January starts
Housing starts declined to a disappointing seasonally adjusted annual rate of 880,000 in January, according to data released Wednesday morning by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The figure marks a 16.0% decline from the upwardly adjusted December pace of 1.048 million starts. It’s also below the year-ago pace by 2.0%. That’s the first year-over-year decline in the pace of starts since August 2011.
Single-family starts were at a rate of 573,000, down 15.9% from the upwardly revised December figure of 681,000. A year ago, single-family starts were reported at 614,000.
The story from permits was a little better, but still negative. Permits were at a rate of 937,000, down 5.4% from the revised December rate of 991,000. Permits were at least ahead of last year’s pace — by 2.4%.
Starts were expected to hit a pace of about 950,000 in January, according to analysts. The weather was partly — though not entirely — to blame for the depressed housing statistics.
Quikrete gets decorative with new stains
Quikrete Companies, the leading manufacturer of packaged concrete products for the building and home improvement markets, has rolled out a comprehensive line of advanced formula decorative concrete stains and coatings.
“We’ve eliminated the frustration many homeowners have experienced in the past with paints and film-forming stains that peel, flake or fade over time by formulating stains that penetrate and permanently bond to existing concrete surfaces,” said Frank Owens, VP of marketing for Quikrete. “Our collection of stains, which includes etching stains, provides homeowners a variety of decorative and design options that they can be confident will stand the test of time.”
The company’s new Etching Stains transform plain concrete into a marble-like appearance with warm earth tones and unique shading. The acid-based stains react with the cement as they permanently penetrate the surface to create a unique, decorative, and multi-toned appearance. Available in tan, coffee, black, English red and olive.
The company is rolling out new in-store merchandising tools to promote its concrete stains, sealers, cleaners and coatings. A key to the new merchandising effort is a display of actual samples along with project photography.