Housing starts hit new low: 791,000
Housing starts dropped 4.5 percent in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 791,000. That’s down from a revised September estimate of 828,000. The figure released today is down 38.0 percent from the 1.275 million rate reported in October 2007.
The 791,000 figure is the lowest rate since tracking began in 1959.
The statistics from the U.S. Department of Commerce also showed single-family housing starts at a rate of 531,000, down 3.3 percent from September.
All regions showed double-digit declines compared to last year in both single-family and total housing starts, with the negative figures ranging from 33.9 percent to 51.6 percent. Compared to last month, however, the West showed a 7.5 percent increase in total starts, and a 1.7 percent increase in single-unit starts. The Midwest showed an 11.5 percent gain in single-family starts, and the South showed a 1.5 percent gain in total starts.
In the Northeast, total October housing starts were down 31 percent, and single-family starts were flat, compared to September.
Building permits fell 12 percent to a rate of 708,000. That figure also is a record low.
Ace co-hosting energy workshops in Colorado
Ace Hardware stores across Colorado have teamed with Xcel Energy and Lightly Treading Energy & Design to host a series of free informational workshops to help consumers save money on energy bills this winter, according to an article in the Delta County Independent, a western Colorado newspaper.
With Colorado residents facing a 12 percent increase in natural gas costs this winter, the workshops will educate consumers about how to conserve energy and lower utility bills. They will provide tips on everything from energy-efficient appliances and lighting to DIY energy efficiency projects such as installing and setting programmable thermostats, changing furnace filters and sealing leaks around doors and windows.
The workshops are free to consumers and will help homeowners cut annual energy consumption by as much as 50 percent this winter, according to Paul Kriescher, principle of Lightly Treading Energy & Design.
In addition to the workshop series, Ace Hardware and Lightly Treading are giving away thermal energy audits and energy makeovers to four Colorado homeowners.
“As local hardware store owners, we want to do what we can to help alleviate rising energy costs for our customers,” said Bill Moore, chairman of the board of directors for Rocky Mountain Ace Stores. “We’re known for providing one-stop-shopping for information and products, and our stores are the perfect location for community events like these.”
Laticrete appoints director of sales
Laticrete, a manufacturer of systems for the installation of ceramic tile and stone, has promoted Ron Nash to director of sales, Architectural Products Division. In this role, Nash will create and lead in the execution of sales initiatives.
“The region sales managers in position are very strong,” Nash said. “My job will be to help them execute our plan. As a group, we need to stay focused on execution. In tough times, there isn’t a lot of new business, so we need to execute better than our competition to gain market share.”
Nash joined Laticrete in 2004 and has won several awards since, including the Timothy J. Alper Award for customer service; sales representative of the year, which was selected by his distributor, Inland Northwest; and the Laticrete “Above and Beyond” presidential award. Prior to this promotion, Nash was the region sales manager for the Laticrete California region.