Gap in data on 2010 homes sales
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is re-examining its existing-home sales estimates after questions have been raised about how it derives its numbers, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal. NAR may have overstated the number of homes sold going back to 2007, the article said.
The discrepancy arose when NAR reported that 4.9 million previously owned homes were sold in the United States in 2010, a decrease of 5.7% from 2009. CoreLogic, a real estate analytics firm based in Santa Ana, Calif., counted 3.3 million — a 10.8% drop.
The bigger decrease means a larger backlog of unsold homes on the market that compete with new housing sales.
CoreLogic bases its estimates on property records through local courthouses. The NAR primarily uses a sample of sales data reported by local multiple-listing services. But consolidation among these services may have resulted in over-counting, according to Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. Yun told the Wall Street Journal that CoreLogic may have understated the number of existing homes sold last year, but said the NAR is re-examining its data.
The newspaper also reported that several economists approached the NAR last year with concerns about its sales modeling, and the group promised to study the issue on a December conference call with representatives from the Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Housing Finance Agency and CoreLogic.
Police break up building materials theft ring
After an eight-month investigation, police from several Oregon and Washington counties served search warrants on seven Portland-area houses and recovered approximately $1 million of stolen building materials, according to an article in The Oregonian.
Much of the recovered material — roofing shingles, siding, rebar and power tools — had been stolen from local businesses and was being offered up for sale on Craigslist and eBay, police said.
Authorities arrested Steven Terrill, 38, whom they accuse of being the ringleader of a network of suspects stealing vehicles and other items, creating fake credit cards and selling stolen property. Terrill was taken into custody just before dawn on Feb. 17, as he returned to a small white house in the Northeast section of Portland. The homes was elevated 12 ft. in the air and supported by a crisscross of steel beams, large house jacks and thick wooden blocks, all of which had been stolen from local businesses and construction sites, police said.
Ted Nisley, a branch manager at Allied Building Products Corp., arrived later to help identify materials. His crew recovered nearly $6,000 in allegedly stolen materials.
Allied workers carried out 90-lb. bags of roofing shingles and dropped them onto a large truck, as others hauled out long pieces of rebar or power tools.
At least five other individuals were arrested as part of the bust. KATU News reported that among the recovered building materials were windows destined to be installed in Terrill’s elevated house, which he was renovating.
New roles for ABC Supply execs
ABC Supply, the industry’s largest distributor of roofing and exterior building products, has announced that two of its VPs will be given new roles in order to maximize its 2010 acquisition of Bradco Supply Co.
Brent Fox has been named VP national business development, a new position with the company. He had been VP divisional operations. In his new role, Fox will focus on growing ABC Supply’s relationships with large national and regional customers, including home builders, remodelers, commercial contractors and storm contractors. The company’s national accounts, commercial products and commercial sales teams will report to him.
Kevin Hendricks has been named VP divisional operations and strategic business units. Formerly, he was VP branch operations. Hendricks will now have responsibility for ABC Supply divisions that include Mule-Hide Products Co. (low-slope roofing systems), Amcraft Building Products Co. (vinyl siding and window solutions), the ABC Supply catalog division (tools, supplies and equipment for contractors) and Town & Country Industries (manufacturer and wholesale distributor of building and aluminum products). He also will explore new entrepreneurial opportunities within and outside of ABC Supply.
Headquartered in Beloit, Wis., ABC Supply was founded by Ken and Diane Hendricks in 1982. The company has more than 450 branches in 44 states.