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February new home sales slip to 590,000

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Sales of new single-family houses in February 2008 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 590,000, according to estimates released jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 1.8 percent below the revised January rate of 601,000 and is 29.8 percent below the February 2007 estimate of 840,000.

The median sales price of new houses sold in February 2008 was $244,100; the average sales price was $296,400. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of February was 471,000. This represents a supply of 9.8 months at the current sales rate.

The government data show all four regions of the country posted double-digit declines in new home sales from the year-ago period. On a month-to-month basis, the South fared best — up 5.7 percent. The West also showed a month-to-month increase of a modest 0.7 percent.

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Dominion Homes faces Nasdaq delisting

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Dublin, Ohio-based home builder Dominion Homes is in the midst of closing a deal to go private but still faces suspension of its stock on the Nasdaq as of March 31, according to a report in BusinessFirst Columbus (Ohio).

The company violated Nasdaq rules when its stock fell, making the company have a total market value under the stock market’s minimum of $5 million. The company also violated rules when it failed to separately announce that company accountants questioned Dominion’s ability to continue due to operating losses and credit problems.

In January, the builder announced plans to go private and buy shareholders out at a cost of 65 cents per share, or $5.5 million cash. The deal means Dominion will be taken private by a group of investors that includes a company with ties to its CEO. The buyout group consists of companies affiliated with Angelo Gordon & Co. and Silver Point Capital and the company’s largest shareholder, BRC Properties.

Dominion chairman and CEO Douglas Borror, also the principal of BRC Properties, will remain in his role with the company.

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Biometrics OEM files for bankruptcy

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Orlando, Fla.-based original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Sequiam has filed for bankruptcy reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida, according to the Orlando Business Journal.

The company recently received a licensing agreement with Black & Decker to provide biometric door locks for the company’s Kwikset division. Still, the manufacturer’s stock dwindled to around 2 cents per share recently.

The company said it accumulated $30 million in debt over the past six years on research and development, according to the report. It also said that an investor failed to honor a March 2007 agreement to advance the company $800,000.

Company founder and CEO Nick VandenBrekel recently resigned for personal reasons.

The company said it will continue to conduct business while the filing and reorganization takes place.

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