Existing-home sales increased 3.4% in April
According to the tally from the national Association of Realtors, there’s the beginning of a return to normalcy taking place across housing.
Existing-home sales in April rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.62 million, up 3.4% from a downwardly revised 4.47 million in March.
“It is no longer just the investors who are taking advantage of high affordability conditions. A return of normal home buying for occupancy is helping home sales across all price points, and now the recovery appears to be extending to home prices,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “The general downtrend in both listed and shadow inventory has shifted from a buyers’ market to one that is much more balanced, but in some areas it has become a seller’s market.”
Compared with a year ago, existing home sales are up 10.0%.
The national median existing-home price for all housing types jumped 10.1% to $177,400 in April from a year ago; the March price showed an upwardly revised 3.1% annual improvement.
“This is the first time we’ve had back-to-back price increases from a year earlier since June and July of 2010 when the gains were less than one percent,” Yun said.
Change of directors at Sears Canada
Just days after Sears Holdings announced plans to partially spin off its Canadian division, Sears Canada appointed a new board member and said goodbye to another.
Sears Canada appointed Don Ross to its board of directors, effective immediately. Ross is a partner at a prominent law firm in Toronto and is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada; the New York State Bar Association; and the Canadian, American and International Bar Associations.
Gone from the board is Deidra Merriwether, senior VP and president – retail services for Sears Holdings.
"The board of directors of Sears Canada is pleased to have attracted Mr. Ross to our Board," said William C. Crowley, chairman of the board, Sears Canada Inc. "Mr. Ross brings extensive experience in both domestic and cross-border commercial matters, as well as in corporate governance, and the board welcomes such an esteemed lawyer, educator and author."
Sears Holding said its partial spinoff will reduce the Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears Holdings’ stake in Sears Canada from 95% to about 51%. Sears said it believes that the spinoff will permit each of Sears Canada and Holdings to focus on their respective businesses and allocate resources to best optimize returns on assets employed.
Air King offers Energy Star solution
West Chester, Pa.-based Air King added humidity-sensing exhaust fans to its line of ventilation fans. The products provide an automated Energy Star-qualified solution for residential ventilation.
Once installed, the exhaust fan turns on automatically when the humidity level in the room reaches the preset percentage, then will automatically shut off when the humidity level falls below the preset percentage.
“The humidity sensing fans make a lot of sense for homeowners and especially rental property owners,” said Jeff Kenkelen, president of Air King. “With standard fans, you are relying on the user to turn the fan on or off. Too many times the fan is not turned on, and proper ventilation does not happen. This can lead to problems such as mold or mildew, and poor indoor air quality in the home.”
The new humidity sensing exhaust fans are available in single and dual-speed models, with a maximum speed of 80 or 130 CFM. The low sound level and energy-efficient operation of the humidity-sensing exhaust fans make them geared for ASHRAE 62.2 ventilation requirements, as well as being compliant with CALGreen of the Title 24 California Building Code for use in bathrooms.