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HD Supply reopens Ft. Myers location

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Specialty tools distributor HD Supply White Cap has reopened a newly renovated warehouse facility in Ft. Myers, Fla.

The 38,000-square-foot location features a merchandise showroom and an open warehouse format, catering to White Cap’s base of large- and medium-sized professional contractors.

“The open warehouse format has enhanced our ability to offer a broader array of products to professional contractors in southwest Florida,” said HD Supply White Cap Florida area director Mikel Valett, in a statement.

Among the assortment of around 2,000 items are numerous specialty tools and accessories, as well as tilt-up hardware and brace rentals, power tools, stormwater pollution prevention products, welding supplies, lightweight construction equipment and job site and personal safety equipment.

The specialty distributor plans a grand reopening event on July 31, which will include facility tours and new product displays.

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NAHB executive to deliver keynote speech

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Jerry Howard, executive vp and CEO of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), will deliver the builder keynote address on Oct. 3 at the 2008 ProDealer Industry Summit. The three-day event, scheduled from Oct. 1 to 3 in Chantilly, Va., is a joint conference of the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) and Home Channel News.

Howard has led the NAHB’s lobbying efforts to pressure federal lawmakers to pass a first-time home buyer tax credit and other housing stimulus legislation. A former chief lobbyist for the National Council of State Housing Agencies, Howard has testified before Congress numerous times on a wide range of issues.

Another Washington insider, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, will kick off the conference at the Westfields Marriott. Ivy Zelman, one of the building industry’s most widely recognized analysts, will deliver her industry outlook.

Other educational sessions will include strategies for running a tight credit operation, preparing for the next wave of Energy Star requirements and how the downturn has changed builders’ attitudes toward their suppliers.

Agolf tournament benefitting the City of Hope will round out the social networking events and tabletop exhibits. For more information about the conference, visit  www.prodealer.com.

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New home sales down slightly in June

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Sales of newly built single-family homes dipped 0.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 530,000 units in June from an upwardly revised pace the previous month, the Commerce Department reported July 25.

According to NAHB president Sandy Dunn, a home builder from Point Pleasant, W.Va., the weak sales numbers further demonstrate the need for the housing and economic stimulus bill, which is nearing final passage in the U.S. Senate.

“Once signed by the President, this legislation will boost confidence in the housing finance system, bring some stability to the overall market and stimulate sales as first-time buyers start taking advantage of a tax credit of up to $7,500,” Dunn said.

NAHB chief economist David Seiders said that on the positive side, the report shows that builders are making some progress on reducing the inventory of unsold units. According to the report, the inventory of new homes for sale eased down 5.3 percent in June to 426,000 units. This represented a 10-month supply at the current sales pace, compared to a 10.4-month supply in May.

Regionally, sales activity was mixed in June, with the Northeast and Midwest posting respective gains of 5.3 percent and 2.5 percent, and the South and West posting respective declines of 2 percent and 0.9 percent. All regions registered declines in the number of new homes for sale.

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