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Lancaster appoints new executive

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Lancaster, a distributor of paint and wallpaper sundries in 37 states, has appointed Geff Lynch as its new vp-marketing. Lynch previously served as the company’s vp-sales for the western region. Gavin Rushevics has been hired to fill Lynch’s position.

Headquartered in Spartanburg, S.C., Lancaster is a privately held company with six distribution centers in California, Texas, South Carolina, Florida, Kentucky and Pennsylvania. The distributor represents independent paint stores, hardware stores, home centers, lumberyards and other retail outlets in the United States, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

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Palfinger names eastern sales manager

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Palfinger North America has named a new eastern sales manager for Crayler truck-mounted forklifts, the Niagara Falls, Ontario-based company announced Nov. 29.

Tom Zwickle brings to the company more than 10 years experience in the area of truck-mounted forklifts and equipment. He joins Palfinger’s expanding North American sales force and will provide eastern markets with the support and service needed to continue to grow in this expanding market, the company said.

Zwickle will be based in Wilton, N.Y.

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Indianapolis remains most affordable housing market

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Indianapolis remained the most affordable major U.S. housing market for the ninth consecutive time in the third quarter of 2007, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI), released Nov. 27.

Meanwhile, nationwide housing affordability rose on a year-over-year basis but was down slightly for the quarter due to higher mortgage rates.

“Today’s HOI reading indicates that 42 percent of all new and existing homes that were sold during the third quarter were affordable to families earning the national median income of $59,000,” said NAHB president Brian Catalde, a home builder from El Segundo, Calif. “This reflects a slight improvement in affordability from a year ago, when only 40.4 percent of homes were within reach of median income-earners, but is just below the 43.1 percent of homes that were affordable to median income-earners in this year’s second quarter.”

The HOI indicates that the national weighted interest rate on fixed and adjustable-rate mortgages — a key component in calculating the HOI — was 6.73 percent in the third quarter, compared to 6.44 percent in the second quarter.

In the nation’s most affordable major housing market of Indianapolis, 87.5 percent of homes sold in the third quarter were affordable to families earning the area’s median household income of $63,800. Also near the top of the list for affordable major metros this quarter were Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich.; Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa.; Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; and Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Mich.

On the flip side, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif., was the nation’s least-affordable major housing market for the 12th consecutive quarter. Just 3.7 percent of new and existing homes in that area sold during the third quarter were affordable to those earning the area’s median family income of $61,700.

Other major metros at the bottom of the housing affordability chart included Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, Calif.; San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif.; New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J.; and Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y.

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