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Home prices rise for sixth straight month

BY Brae Canlen

Housing price data from the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices for September 2012 showed that existing-home prices continued to rise in the third quarter of 2012. The national composite was up 3.6% versus the third quarter of 2011, and increased 2.2% versus the second quarter of 2012.

In September 2012, the 10- and 20-city composites showed annual returns of +2.1% and +3.0%. Average home prices in the 10- and 20-city composites were each up by 0.3% in September versus August 2012. Seventeen of the 20 MSAs and both composites posted better annual returns in September versus August 2012; Detroit and Washington, D.C., recorded a slight deceleration in their annual rates, and New York saw no change.

“Home prices rose in the third quarter, marking the sixth consecutive month of increasing prices,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “In September’s report all three headline composites and 17 of the 20 cities gained over their levels of a year ago. Month-over-month, 13 cities and both composites posted positive monthly gains. 

“We are entering the seasonally weak part of the year [and] despites the seasons,housing continues to improve,” Blitzer continued. “Phoenix continues to lead the recovery with a +20.4% annual growth rate. Atlanta has finally reversed 26 months of annual declines with a +0.1% annual rate as observed in September’s housing data. At the other end of the spectrum, Chicago and New York were the only two cities to post annual declines of 1.5% and 2.3%, respectively, and were also down 0.6% and 0.1% month-over-month.”

“Thirteen of the 20 cities recorded positive monthly returns; Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland and New York saw modest drops in home prices in September as compared with August; Tampa and Washington, D.C., were flat. With six months of consistently rising home prices, it is safe to say that we are now in the midst of a recovery in the housing market.”

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Streamlined Newell Rubbermaid shares results

BY Ken Clark

Newell Rubbermaid, the Atlanta-based company that recently reorganized its myriad brands into six business units, down from nine, gave investors insights into how those units have performed.

The six business units in the streamlined structure are home solutions, writing, tools, commercial products, baby and parenting, and specialty.

Year to date, the home solutions unit (including Rubbermaid and Levolor brands) in 2012 has $1.191 billion in sales, down from $1.261 billion in the same period last year.

The tools unit (including the Irwin and Lenox brands) recorded sales of $597 million, compared with $577 million in the same year-to-date period in 2011.

The total company revenues increased slightly to $4.384 billion, up from $4.369 billion.

The new structure is the result of a program called Project Renewal. Effective October 2012, the company committed to the program designed to further simplify and align the business around two key activities — brand development and market execution.

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Lebhar-Friedman’s Residential Products Group hires industry veteran Paul Gillen

BY HBSDealer Staff

The Residential Products Group of New York City-based publishing company Lebhar-Friedman hired Paul Gillen as regional sales manager. 

At the Residential Products Group, Gillen will help guide the growth of HCN, homechannelnews.com and HCN Daily newsletters. He will also play a leading role in the development of the new Residential Building Products & Technology, a digital-format magazine set to launch in mid-January.

In addition to nearly 30 years in the publishing industry, Gillen is a member of the Northern Illinois Home Builders Association and the U.S. Green Building Council. 

Most recently, Gillen was manager of residential products business development for Knauf Insulation. He spent 16 years with Cahners Publishing and worked in both media and market intelligence for Hanley Wood. Gillen graduated from Baldwin Wallace College (now University), and is a longtime resident of Evanston, Ill.

"We are excited to have a capable and experienced professional like Paul join our team," said Jack Brannigan, VP and group publisher of the Residential Products Group. "The timing is right for growth in our sector, and Paul has the ideal background to help us serve the industry." 

The new Residential Building Products & Technology’s editorial mission includes the promise to dive beyond the basic product descriptions and examine the trends and the details that allow builders , remodelers and subcontractors to better serve their customers. Technology, technique and tools will all be featured along with the latest building concepts in the residential construction industry. For more information, visit residentialbuildingproducts.com.

About Lebhar-Friedman: Founded in 1925, Lebhar-Friedman is a leading media and marketing company serving the retail industry and targeted consumer markets. Diverse, forward-thinking and committed to excellence, our staff delivers award-winning content and high-impact marketing products across all media channels.

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