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Home builders react to starts

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) interpreted the 10.5% rise in August housing starts as a kind of correction following the expiration of tax incentives April 30.

“The vast majority of builders in this country operate small, single-family home-building firms, and they are struggling to obtain acquisition, development and construction financing that will enable them to meet the current level of buyer demand and put more Americans back to work,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the NAHB and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

“The housing market has been in a holding pattern as the economy stalled in the second and third quarters. Construction activity returned to pre-home buyers tax credit levels in August, as builders replaced sold single-family homes and begin replenishing apartment building supply after a three-year steady decline in multi-family construction,” said NAHB chief economist David Crowe.

“Consumer uncertainty about the economy, the poor job market and the large number of foreclosed properties for sale continue to be a drag on housing. However, favorable home-buying conditions should help spur additional demand as the job market gradually improves later this year,” he added.

Most of the gain in housing production in August was due to a 32.2% jump to 160,000 units on the more volatile multi-family side.

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Inside the home

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Consumer research from The NPD Group connects the dots of appliance ownership in its most recent report, “Inside the Home: Appliances We Own & Use.”

According to the report, ownership in the major appliance category over-indexes among those who also own their home. However, homeownership does not fully predict who owns these products, nor who has recently purchased them. While one in four homeowners indicate having purchased a major appliance in the past 12 months, one in five renters have as well.

Here are some of the key findings: 

• Small kitchen electrics: The most owned and purchased products are often considered traditional countertop appliances, such as toasters, coffee makers, electric can openers and toaster ovens.

• Home environment appliances: The products used most often are those within the water filtration category, followed by upright vacuums. Close to half of upright vacuum owners are using their product once a week or more often.

• Hair appliances: Hair straightener owners are most likely to own other hair care appliances. Three-quarters of hair straighteners owners also own a curling iron or brush. The likelihood of a curling iron/brush owner to own a straightener is far less likely at 46%, however, a significant figure.   • Americans who have a refrigeration filtration system are least likely to own a pitcher, pour-through water filtration, or a faucet-mount device — just 18% and 15%, respectively.

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True Temper sale completed

BY HBSDEALER Staff

New York-based Castle Harlan announced it has completed the sale of Ames True Temper to Griffon Corp. for $542 million.

“Our five-year plan for Ames True Temper Inc. was to expand the business, increase market share in the U.S., create international exposure and broaden product lines for distribution through our pipeline. We have done that and are pleased with the results. We wish the company continued success as part of the Griffon family,” said Castle Harlan co-president William Pruellage.

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