Evans Lumber to close in West Virginia
According to an article in the Marietta Times, Evans Lumber Co. in South Charleston, W. Va., is closing at the end of the month after 82 years as a family-run business.
The third-generation family business hit problems that grew from a poor economy, competition and changing customer habits.
Owner Don Evans described one of the problems to the newspaper this way: "Independents are more sensitive to their customers’ needs, where big-box stores are sensitive to what product they can sell for a good profit. We’re suffering from the very thing we pushed for so many years," he said. "We have people who call our salespeople for questions, then buy at Lowe’s."
According to the article, Don’s father, Walter “Pat” Evans, never missed a day of work. Pat died in 1995. The store took on its Do it Best branding in 1996.
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Wow, makes that comment about
Wow, makes that comment about "momentum" in the consumer confidence article sound like BS doesn't it. Another good independent dealer shuts down. Some friggin recovery.
Weyerhaeuser to export OSB to Japan
Weyerhaeuser will soon produce oriented strand board (OSB) for export to Japan, the company has announced. The OSB panels are used in both residential and commercial construction in Japan, as wall and roof sheathing and as structural flooring panels.
The Weyerhaeuser OSB mill in Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan, Canada will produce the material under a JAS certification received from the APA in February. The mill will use a proprietary formulation specifically engineered to meet JAS strength and stiffness criteria, as well as the stringent F4 requirements for formaldehyde emission levels. Production to this standard will begin in April with the first material arriving in Japan in May.
"We are very excited to be entering the Japan market," said Chad Kelly, Hudson Bay mill manager. "This is a great fit for us in terms of our wood supply and our production strengths. We have a nine-foot-wide press so we can produce three-foot-wide material very efficiently."
The Hudson Bay mill will produce JAS-certified panels in standard sizes-such as 910mm x1820mm (approximately three feet by six feet) and 910mm x2730mm (three feet by nine feet) to align with Japanese building practices, as well as custom sizes. Thicknesses from 9.0mm to 28mm will meet the appropriate JAS classifications.
With over 50 years of experience in the Japanese housing market, Weyerhaeuser has representatives for engineered wood products, lumber, and pulp in the Weyerhaeuser Tokyo office.
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A slight dip in month-to-month pending home sales
Pending home sales were down slightly in February but remain notably above the pattern in the first half of last year, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, eased 0.5% to 96.5 in February from 97.0 in January but is 9.2% above February 2011 when it was 88.4. The data reflects contracts but not closings.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said we’re seeing the continuation of an uneven but higher sales pattern. “The spring home buying season looks bright because of an elevated level of contract offers so far this year,” he said. “If activity is sustained near present levels, existing-home sales will see their best performance in five years. Based on all of the factors in the current market, that’s what we’re expecting with sales rising 7% to 10% in 2012."
The PHSI in the Northeast slipped 0.6% to 77.7 in February but is 18.4% above a year ago. In the Midwest, the index jumped 6.5% to 93.8 and is 19.0% higher than February 2011. Pending home sales in the South fell 3.0% to an index of 105.8 in February but are 7.8% above a year ago. In the West, the index declined 2.6% in February to 99.3 and is 1.8% below February 2011.
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In fact, the housing market
In fact, the housing market has been one of the weakest parts of the U.S. economy. Recent economic data really show it is starting to get back on track after a price collapse that began 5 1/2 years ago--though the market still remains uneven. The middle-class people still use cash loans online to stay afloat Mortgage rates have been hovering around the lowest recorded levels, employers have stepped up hiring and economists' forecasts have become less gloomy.