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HCN Stock Watch: A slump on hump day

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Wednesday’s close saw the lion’s share of HCN Top 30 stocks taking a dip into the red. Sears Holdings (SHLD) was a lonely victor, gaining 5.27%.

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Home development project set for Washington state

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Pope Resources has announced a $6.8 million sale to Richmond-American Homes, which involves 63 single-family lots in the northern portion of the Partnership’s Harbor Hill project in Gig Harbor, Wash.

"This is the second bulk sale of fully developed single-family lots we have closed on thus far this quarter," said David L. Nunes, president and CEO. "We look forward to additional residential lot sales from our Harbor Hill project over the coming months and years as the project matures and enjoys increased interest from merchant builders."

Harbor Hill is a mixed-use planned community including residential, business park and commercial properties.

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Survey: Americans are on the move and DIY-inclined

BY HBSDEALER Staff

According to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, 2014 is looking to be a big year for new homes and do-it-yourself projects.

“All of the costs associated with moving can really add up, but more consumers are feeling confident that they can afford to put down new roots,” said David Rabkin, SVP of Consumer Lending Products for American Express. “With more people looking to purchase a home this year instead of rent, and with seller confidence on the rise, it will create an interesting push and pull as buyers and sellers negotiate.”

This year, 16% of those surveyed are planning to move, which marks a significant difference from 10% in 2012. Among those looking for a change of scenery, buying is outpacing renting again, with over 17 million planning to purchase a home, condo or co-op (46%, up from 43% in 2013). Meanwhile, 16 million are looking to rent, comprising 44% of those surveyed (down from 47% last year).

Additionally, seller optimism is at a four-year high, with 65% saying they’re confident they’ll get their asking price. That’s a 25% increase since the depth of the recession years in 2010.

Within this increasingly mobile environment, a large amount of homeowners (73%) are planning home improvement projects in 2014, spending an average of $4,000. More Americans — 72%, to be exact — are warming up to the DIY ethos, up from 66% in 2010.

While this is a boon for DIY sales, contractors might see business waning, given that 15% plan to hire a professional (compared to 22% in 2010).

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