February housing starts sink 22.5%
Inexplicably, housing starts took a dive in February, according to data released Wednesday by the Department of Commerce.
Privately owned housing starts in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 479,000; that’s 22.5% below the upwardly revised January estimate of 618,000. It’s also 20.8% below the February 2010 rate of 605,000.
Even more disappointing from a home builder’s standpoint, February’s number was the second worst month on record. Only April 2009 generated a slower rate of home construction, at 477,000.
On a single-family basis, starts were at a pace of 375,000, the lowest since March 2009.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) described the results as "disconcerting" in a release today.
"The decline in new construction and permits in February is the culmination of a great deal of nervousness that both builders and consumers are feeling right now," said Bob Nielsen, chairman of the NAHB and a home builder from Reno, Nev. "In an already-fragile market where credit for building and buying homes remains extremely tight, additional concerns about energy costs, interest rates and other factors are contributing to an atmosphere in which many have adopted a very cautious stance."
KB Homes to add LP radiant barrier
KB Homes has announced its intention to add LP’s TechShield Radiant Barrier roof sheathing at no additional cost in new homes built across the United States. The company is the first residential home builder to make this a standard feature in all its new community homes.
KB Homes also installs low-E windows, Energy Star appliances and programmable thermostats as standard features in its homes.
LP TechShield is made of a thin sheet of aluminum laminated to oriented strand board (OSB). The product helps block heat in the roof sheathing from entering the attic, reducing the overall heat load and energy costs.
“KB Homes prides itself on being an innovator among its competitors, continually looking for new technologies that will benefit our home buyers,” said Dan Bridleman, the company’s VP supply chain and technology.
Boise Cascade signs lease in N.J.
Boise Cascade’s building materials distribution division has leased property to augment operations at its facility in Delanco, N.J. The new facility has 300,000 sq. ft. of inside storage and approximately 20 acres of usable yard space. Rail service is also included.
The new facility will allow for expansion of the current inventory and the addition of new product lines. Stan Bell, president of Boise Cascade’s building materials distribution, said: “This expansion is a continuation of our expansion strategy and our strategy to provide our customers with broader and deeper product lines. We are looking forward to more of these expansions and upgrades in the near future.”