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Existing-home sales pick up the pace

BY Ken Clark

Data from the National Association of Realtors show existing-home sales rose 5.9% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million — the highest rate since November 2009.

The rate shows an increase over the downwardly revised pace of 4.76 million in October. The November rate is also 14.5% higher than the 4.40 million-unit pace set in November 2011.

"Momentum continues to build in the housing market from growing jobs and a bursting out of household formation," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "With lower rental vacancy rates and rising rents, combined with still historically favorable affordability conditions, more people are buying homes. Areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy show storm-related disruptions, but overall activity in the Northeast is up, offset by gains in unaffected areas." 

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $180,600 in November, up 10.1% from November 2011. This is the ninth consecutive monthly year-over-year price gain, which last occurred from September 2005 to May 2006.

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Home Depot selects a high-tech pricing tool

BY Ken Clark

Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Clear Demand announced that The Home Depot has licensed its latest pricing solution. 

According to the technology vendor, Clear Demand was selected for its ability to manage prices via sophisticated rules while providing Home Depot with an agile delivery model.

"Our commitment to creating an interconnected customer experience requires that we align ourselves with nimble innovators who can meet our evolving solution needs," said Hal Lawton, senior VP and president of online for The Home Depot. "This commitment also requires that we take small well-defined steps, communicate clearly across our merchant organization, provide tools that fit with the way our merchants work and get data to the point of decision quickly." 

According to Clear Demand, the product includes an "Intelligent Rules Engine" that reverses engineers existing business rules for rapid setup and identifies inconsistencies in pricing strategy; "Force Diagram Technology" that reveals pricing forces on current and recommended prices for related items, for explaining price moves; and "Multi-Channel Competitive Rules," a solution to fully integrate traditional and online competitive pricing intelligence.

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Grip-Rite launches new website

BY Ken Clark

PrimeSource Building Products has launched a new interactive website for its Grip-Rite brand fasteners that will allow both desktop and mobile access to the manufacturer’s 800-plus SKUs.

With more than 1,600 pages of downloadable product information, the newly designed website is a go-to-resource for new product features and educational content. It works on all devices to provide Grip-Rite dealers and customers with the same quick access and convenient Web experience. An additional feature, Grip-Rite TV, will provide a video series featuring real contractors showcasing Grip-Rite tools in-action.

Visitors also have the opportunity to sign up for the Grip-Rite E-Club, which keeps them up to date on new promotions and Grip-Rite news.

Based in Irving, Texas, PrimeSource operates 42 distribution centers throughout the United States and Canada. It is an international distributor of building materials serving residential, commercial, and industrial new-construction and remodeling markets with core products, such as Grip-Rite and Pro-Twist branded nails, screws and collated fasteners; tools, compressors and accessories; residential and commercial roofing products; diamond blades and accessories, gypsum accessories, weather protection and covers, adhesives and caulks, contractor bags and poly sheeting, building accessories; rebar and concrete accessories; and fencing and wire.

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