New-home sales take unexpected dip in February
Sales of new single-family houses in February 2013 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to estimates released jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The rate is 4.6% below the revised January rate of 431,000, but is 12.3% above the February 2012 estimate of 366,000.
The statistics came as a letdown after a big increase was reported for the month of January. Still, new-home sales are at a pace of 400,000 or higher for the second straight month. During all of 2012, the pace was under 400,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in February 2013 was $246,800; the average sales price was $313,700. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of February was 152,000. This represents a supply of 4.4 months at the current sales rate.
Blue Rhino acquires Mr. Bar-B-Q
Blue Rhino, a division of Ferrellgas Partners, one of the nation’s largest distributors of propane, announced today the acquisition of Mr. Bar-B-Q, a leading provider of high-quality barbecue tools, accessories and parts, headquartered in Old Bethpage, New York.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Blue Rhino is sold at thousands of retail stores nationwide. Through Blue Rhino’s Global Sourcing arm, the partnership is also a top provider of barbecue grills and outdoor living products through some of the nation’s leading retail outlets.
Ferrellgas President and CEO Steve Wambold pointed out: “Mr. Bar-B-Q is the perfect complement to Blue Rhino’s propane tank exchange brand and its wide assortment of outdoor living products.”
He added: “Mr. Bar-B-Q has long prided itself in offering ‘Everything for the Grill.’ As we marry the Mr. Bar-B-Q brand with Blue Rhino, consumers will be able to exchange for our ready-to-grill tanks at the front of the store and then find our propane-powered products and barbecue accessories elsewhere in that same store. It’s a tremendous opportunity for us and our retail partners. Although Mr. Bar-B-Q doesn’t represent our typical acquisition, it clearly meets our strict criteria. Its diverse product offerings fit quite neatly into our portfolio, and will add to our earnings at once. We’re thrilled to welcome the company and its employees to our family.”