LUMBERYARDS

Existing-home prices rise in June but sales drop

BY Brae Canlen

Numbers released today by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed continued gains in-existing home prices but a slower market for sales. Completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops declined 5.4% in June compared with May. In year-over-year figures, June 2012 was 4.5% higher than June 2011.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $189,400 in June, up 7.9% from a year ago. This marks four back-to-back monthly price increases from a year earlier, which last occurred in February to May of 2006. June’s gain was the strongest since February 2006 when the median price rose 8.7% from a year prior.

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said the bigger story is lower inventory and the recovery in home prices. "Despite the frictions related to obtaining mortgages, buyer interest remains solid. But inventory continues to shrink and that is limiting buying opportunities. This, in turn, is pushing up home prices in many markets," Yun said. "The price improvement also results from fewer distressed homes in the sales mix."

Distressed homes — foreclosures and short sales sold at deep discounts — accounted for 25% of June sales (13% were foreclosures and 12% were short sales), unchanged from May but down from 30% from June 2011. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 18% below market value in June, while short sales were discounted 15%. "The distressed portion of the market will further diminish because the number of seriously delinquent mortgages has been falling," said Yun.

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Myrick joins Florida dealer

BY Brae Canlen

Bill Myrick, the former CEO of ProBuild and chief operating officer of 84 Lumber, has been hired as CEO of American Builders Supply (ABS), a leading supplier of doors, windows, millwork and trusses to home builders in Florida. ABS, which is owned by Blue Wolf Capital Partners, has five Florida locations and has consolidated four leading independent competitors in the last 15 months.

In an interview with Home Channel News, Myrick said he “looked at several opportunities” during his one-year hiatus after officially leaving ProBuild on July 12, 2011. He chose ABS because of the company’s growth plans.

“Our goal is to offer more [products] and grow the footprint,” Myrick said. “We just added lumber at one location, and others will follow.” The company has recently begun component manufacturing, another area where Myrick sees potential.

Myrick said he was also attracted by ABS’s size. “I like working for a smaller firm where I can get to know the [staff] and the customers,” said Myrick, who oversaw the nation’s largest pro dealer at his last job.

Chad Barton, chairman of ABS, said, "Bill is a well-respected executive in our industry, and we are looking forward to working with him. His experience and business relationships will prove invaluable as we continue to grow in our core markets in Florida and as we expand into new end markets and geographic territories. Bill will enhance our ability to provide our full suite of products to both existing and new customers." 

ABS services customers throughout North and Central Florida from its Sanford headquarters (outside of Orlando) and from three additional manufacturing and distribution facilities located in Winter Haven, Melbourne and Jacksonville. Through its Melbourne and Sanford facilities, ABS also offers custom doors and molding products for specialty home builders and retail customers.

Although Florida’s home-building industry is starting to rebound, Myrick will face plenty of competition in his markets from former employers and rivals. ProBuild is there, as is 84 Lumber and Builders FirstSource. Florida also has a number of strong independent lumberyards and specialty dealers. But for now, Myrick said, “I love this industry and I’m glad to be back.”

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BlueLinx adds new engineered lumber products to software solution

BY HBSDealer Staff

BlueLinx has announced that its onCENTER Engineered Lumber products are now included in the product library of MiTek’s Sapphire Structure software.

With version 7.3.5 Service Pack 1, released June 28, 2012, users of Sapphire Structure can now specify onCENTER BLI Joists, onCENTER LVL and onCENTER Rim Board, and the MiTek Single Member Design Engine will analyze each member using material properties provided by BlueLinx.

"This is great news for our customers who design trussed roofs using MiTek Sapphire software," said Richard Graham, BlueLinx engineered lumber national engineering manager, "as they can now design onCENTER Engineered Lumber floors and headers without switching to another software program. The entire process will be streamlined, and the risk of errors will be reduced."

For BlueLinx customers not using MiTek software, the BlueLinx DOMA Studio offering includes DOMA Builder, a whole-house add-on to AutoCAD Architecture; DOMA Framer, a standalone CAD/Design package for roof and floor design; DOMA Sizer, a single-member design program; and DOMA Optimizer, a cutting optimizer to reduce waste when cutting orders from stock.

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