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Housing starts slip in July

BY HBSDealer Staff

Housing starts took a step backward in July, both on a monthly and a yearly basis.

Total U.S. housing starts came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,155,000 last month, down 4.8% over June and down 5.6% over July 2016.

June's rate was also revised down to 1,213,000, compared to the 1,215,000 estimate initially reported. And to put things in perspective, July's starts are down in comparison to this figure, which jumped ahead more than 8% between May and June.

Single-family starts came in at 856,000 last month, down 0.5% from June's figure of 860,000 (up from the 849,000 initially estimated).

As for what's coming down the pipeline: building permits clocked in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,223,000, down 4.1% from June, but up 4.1% from July 2016. Single-family authorizations stayed flat month-over-month at 811,000.

Regionally, declines occurred around the country except for in the South, which managed to eke out a 0.6% increase in total starts (and a 2.0% increase in single-family starts).

The Northeast also pulled in 9.8% more single-family starts, but was dragged down by the multi-family market to a total decline of 15.7%.

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NAICS 444 up 8.3% in July

BY HBSDealer Staff

Retail sales got a sizeable boost last month, jumping 0.6% from the previous month and 4.2% above July 2016.

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for July were $478.9 billion. Retail trade sales were also up 0.6% from June 2017, and up 4.3% from last year.

Within the retail space, nonstore retailers experienced the biggest jump, increasing 11.5% over last year.

However, building materials and garden equipment & supplies dealers (NAICS 444) were in a close second, up 8.3% from last year and 1.2% over last month.

The categories that did as well — or better — on a monthly basis included motor vehicle & parts dealers, up 1.2%; miscellaneous store retailers, up 1.3%; and nonstore retailers, up 1.3%.

Electronics stores brought up the rear, down 0.5% for the month, together with sporting goods, hobby, book & music stores, down 4.2% for the month.

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Cedar Creek gets a new CEO

BY HBSDealer Staff

Cedar Creek has promoted a new leader to its top ranks.

Alex Averitt will succeed Wayne Trousdale as president and CEO, effective Sept. 15.

Averitt has also been named to the company's board of directors.

Having served as COO since 2015, Averitt is taking Trousdale's spot as part of a succession plan, with Trousdale, a founding partner of the company, assuming the title of executive chairman. Bill Adams is retiring as nonexecutive chairman and will continue to serve on the board.

"We have expanded in the last few years from a regional firm with six locations to a national organization with over 30 locations," said Trousdale. "Promoting Alex to CEO with full responsibility to manage the company will give me time to travel around the country meeting with customers, suppliers, and employees to make sure that our entire organization reflects the values that have made Cedar Creek so successful."

"Alex has proven himself as a leader and this organizational change adds the executive resources we need to continue our growth," added Trousdale.

Averitt has been with the company in total since 2005. He began as a sales manager and served in various other roles, including VP of IT.

His resume also includes stints with Jeld-Wen, Inc.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge of the new role and continuing the legacy of serving our customers and employees," said Averitt.

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