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July’s existing-home sales strong at 5.39 million

BY HBSDealer Staff

Total existing-home sales fared well in July, experiencing a 6.5% increase to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million, marking the 25th consecutive month that sales have remained above year-ago levels.

The National Association of Realtors reported that July’s figures are up from June’s downwardly revised total of 5.06 million and are 17.2% higher than July 2012’s 4.60 million.

Total housing inventory rose 5.6% to 2.28 million existing homes available for sale, marking a 5.1 month supply that was consistent with June’s figures.

According to NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun, higher mortgage interest rates (currently at their two-year peak) are prohibitive for some potential buyers, but not enough to prevent a sustainted recovery. Yun also identified tight inventory as a harbinger of above-normal price growth.

“Although housing affordability conditions will become less attractive, jobs are being added to the economy, and mortgage underwriting standards should normalize over time from current stringent conditions as default rates fall," said Yun.

July’s national median existing-home price was $213,500, a 13.7% year-over-year increase.

Single-family home sales were up 6.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.76 million, up from June’s 4.48 million and July 2012’s 4.09 million. The median existing single-family home price was $214,000 in July, which is 13.5% higher year-over-year.

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Caterpillar promotes Finerty

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Bill Finerty, currently VP of Caterpillar’s Americas Distribution Services Division, will assume responsibilities for the newly realigned Diversified Products Division, which includes Caterpillar’s global paving products, forestry products, defense and federal products, OEM Solutions group, Cat Tunneling, and the industrial and waste group.

In addition, Caterpillar’s on-highway truck group will move from the Customer Services Support Division to become part of the Diversified Products Division. The changes for the Diversified Products Division and the Customer Services Support Division will be effective Oct. 1, 2013. 

Finerty joined Caterpillar in 1984 in the marketing training program as a sales development technician. He then held a series of positions in the United States and Europe with growing responsibilities in the areas of marketing, finance and mining. In 2005, he was named a regional manager for the Americas Distribution Services Division. He was appointed Caterpillar VP with responsibility for the Americas Distribution Services Division in 2011.

Finerty has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Southern Illinois University.

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Simonton employees support cancer research

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Employees of Columbus, Ohio-based Simonton Windows have joined together to raise $56,000 for two different charities benefiting cancer research.

As part of Pelotonia 2013 in Columbus, Ohio, Team Simonton raised almost $15,000 this month for cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. And, in May, associates at Simonton facilities in West Virginia raised $41,000 for the American Cancer Society during the 12th Annual "Relay for Life" Charity Auction. 

Ten associates from Simonton Windows participated in the fifth annual Pelotonia bike ride in Columbus in early August. The dedicated team members traveled several hundred miles combined on different routes throughout the city to help raise funds for cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. 

On May 4, Simonton Windows hosted its 12th annual auction to benefit the American Cancer Society and raised $41,000 by selling more than 600 energy-efficient Simonton windows and doors. During the past 12 years, the charity fundraiser has generated more than $405,000 in contributions for the Relay for Life fundraising efforts in Ritchie and Pleasant Counties in West Virginia.

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