LUMBERYARDS

NAHB sees crews going back to work

BY Ken Clark

In the wake of Tuesday’s housing starts report, the National Association of Home Builders said demand for housing is “definitely rising." 

Nationwide housing production edged up 0.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 917,000 units in February, according to government data released Tuesday. This slight upward movement represented gains in both the single-family and multi-family sectors, with single-family housing starts reaching their fastest pace since June2008.

“Demand for new homes and apartments is definitely rising as the spring buying season approaches and more young people move out on their own,” said Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “Builders are responding to this improved demand by putting more crews back to work and pulling more permits for future construction, though this positive activity is being constrained  by continuing issues with appraisals and credit availability for both builders and buyers, and also by newly arising challenges such as lot shortages and increased costs for labor and materials.”

Single-family housing starts eked out a 0.5% gain to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 618,000 units in February, bringing them to their highest level since June 2008, while multi-family starts rose 1.4% to 299,000 units.

“Today’s report indicates that, despite some bumps in the road, overall housing production continues on the solid upward trend that we saw throughout 2012,” noted NAHB chief economist David Crowe. “Moreover, further gains in permit issuance are a positive sign that home construction will continue to drive economic and job growth in the coming months, albeit at a slower pace than would be possible without certain limiting factors.” 

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More with less in home building

BY Ken Clark

A National Public Radio report examines how technology brings efficiency in the home-building industry, specifically Mid-Atlantic Builders, based in Rockville, Md.

The builder is one of many post-recession companies doing more work with fewer employees. Technology allows for increased efficiency, along with fewer employees.

Also emphasized in the report is the modern builder’s reliance on suppliers. For instance, 84 Lumber’s manufacturing capabilities are highlighted in the article, as the builder turns to the dealer for more services.

The broadcast, “Technology Upends Another Industry: Homebuilding,” can be found here.

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Beacon Roofing Supply names CFO

BY HBSDealer Staff

Beacon Roofing Supply has appointed Joseph Nowicki as executive VP, chief financial officer and treasurer, effective March 25. Nowicki will oversee finance, information technology and investor relations and will be located in the company’s Herndon, Va., office.

Nowicki has been the chief financial officer and treasurer for Spartan Motors since June 2009. Spartan designs, engineers, manufactures, and distributes specialty chassis, specialty vehicles, truck bodies and aftermarket parts for the recreational vehicle, emergency response, government services, defense, and delivery and service markets. Prior to Spartan, he was with Herman Miller from 1992 through 2009, where he held progressive financial roles, lastly as VP investor relations and treasurer. Nowicki also held financial positions with IBM and General Motors. He is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Canisius College and an MBA from the University of Michigan. 

Paul Isabella, the company’s president and CEO, stated: "Joe has a strong history of leading the finance function and has very broad base experience that makes him a perfect fit for Beacon. We feel very fortunate to bring a talented executive with his depth of financial, operations and continuous improvement experience to our team. Joe’s extensive background and leadership experience will be an important asset to us as we continue to grow. Under his guidance and oversight, our strong finance and IT teams and disciplined financial culture will continue to serve the Company well in the years ahead."

 

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