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New home sales slip

BY HBSDealer Staff

Sales of new single-family houses in August 2017 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 560,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 3.4% below the revised July rate of 580,000 and is 1.2 % below the August 2016 estimate of 567,000.

The median sales price of new houses sold in August 2017 was $300,200. The average sales price was $368,100. A year ago, those figures stood at $298,900 and $355,100, respectively.

The seasonally-adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of August was 284,000. This represents a supply of 6.1 months at the current sales rate.

On a regional basis, the largest growth was recorded in the Northeast, where year-over-year new home sales increased by an estimated 65.2%. Sales in the South declined 9.2% in the month, as the region looked ahead to what turned out to be devastating storms and flooding.

The report on new home sales followed a previous report on existing home sales, which showed a decline of 1.7% in August.

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Porter-Cable turns on the light

BY HBSDealer Staff

Porter-Cable is promoting a combination of illuminating features in its new 20V MAX Corded/Cordless LED Task Light.

The product is an extension of the Porter-Cable 20V Max System. It lights up work spaces with up to 1,900 lumens, and it provides more than 10 hours of runtime when used with the Porter-Cable 4.0Ah battery.

Other features include corded and cordless power options and adjustable brightness.

The product carries an MSRP  of $69.99 as a bare tool (battery and charger not included.)

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Funding for Lixil Corp.’s SATO

BY Ken Clark
Lixil Corp. announced that its breakthrough SATO business will be funded under the “Urban Sanitation Challenge,” a newly launched program of the Water Innovation Engine. Lixil’s SATO is one of the first five projects ever to be funded through the Urban Sanitation Challenge. The new program, led by Grand Challenges Canada, was launched on Sept. 21 at the UN General Assembly meetings in New York City. 
 
Lixil's SATO is a first-of-its-kind line of affordable toilet and sanitation products specifically tailored for rural and peri-urban communities with difficulties accessing safe sanitation. The products are designed to automatically and reliably seal open-pit latrines with an innovative self-closing trap-door that minimizes odors and the passage of disease-carrying insects, making the toilet safer and more pleasant to use. The first SATO toilet was developed in 2012 by Lixil's American Standard brand. There are now 1.2 million units in use, improving sanitation for 6 million people around the world.
 
“SATO seeks to scale its operations and to develop the means to reach the millions of rural and peri-urban consumers currently living without access to safe and adequate sanitation," said Jin Song Montesano, executive officer and senior managing director, Lixil Group. "Funding from Grand Challenges Canada will have a significant impact on our ability to achieve these goals. That funding represents a much-appreciated vote of confidence in the SATO team’s innovative and technology-focused approach to sanitation solutions.” 
 
SATO products are currently commercially available in four countries – Bangladesh, Uganda, Kenya, and India. The CAD $1 million of funding will help LIXIL scale up SATO to reach an additional 15 million people, enabling manufacturing and distribution of SATO products in Nigeria, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Africa, Vietnam, Indonesia, Haiti, Ghana, Malawi, and the Philippines. This will take the company a step closer to reaching its goal of bringing safe sanitation to 100 million people by the end of 2020 — and improving worldwide access to basic sanitation by 4%. 
 
A second project to receive funding uses another of LIXIL’s innovations. Laguna Water’s project in the Philippines utilizes LIXIL’s Portable Toilet System – an in-home sanitation solution designed for dense urban informal settlements that lack adequate sanitation infrastructure. The system is being field-tested to offer disadvantaged households an ‘odorless’ toilet from which human waste can be collected and treated hygienically and efficiently. 
 
The Urban Sanitation Challenge recognizes projects that tackle the impact of poor sanitation on health, the environment, and the economy through cost-effective solutions. It is the newest initiative of the Water Innovation Engine, which was formed in in response to a 2016 Call to Action from the eleven Heads of Government and State and Special Advisers who make up the UN / World Bank High Level Panel on Water (HLPW). The challenge is supported financially by the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada, and a host of other partners. 
 
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