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New housing sales fell in December

BY Ken Clark

Sales of new single-family houses in December fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 307,000, down 2.2% from the revised November rate of 314,000. 

Compared with a year ago, December new housing sales were down 7.3%, according to the U.S. Commerce Department’s new residential sales report released Thursday. 

For the full year in 2011, an estimated 302,000 new homes were sold. That’s the lowest figure reported since the government began keeping track in 1963. The 2011 figure is also 6.2% below the 2010 figure. New housing sales reached a peak in 2005, when 1.282 million homes were sold. 

The median sales price of new houses sold in December 2011 was $210,300; the average sales price was $266,000. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of December was 157,000. That represents a supply of 6.1 months at the current sales rate.

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NLBMDA releases 2012 policy agenda

BY Brae Canlen

The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) will focus on burdensome regulations, job creation and the housing market in its national legislative and regulatory policy agenda for 2012. The document, released Jan. 26., combines the common interests of the housing and the building materials industries to help bring about an economic recovery.

"It is essential that Congress focus not on election-year politics but on job creation and sound fiscal policies that will restore housing as the cornerstone of our national economy,” said Cally Fromme, NLBMDA chair and executive VP Zarsky Lumber in Victoria, Texas. “This common-sense, pro-growth National Policy Agenda is a legislative and regulatory plan that can and will put the building supply industry and our nation’s economy back on the path to recovery."

The agenda includes the trade association’s positions on housing, legal reform, workforce policy, tax policy, product supply, transportation and energy. It will be distributed to members of Congress and key administration officials and will be used by NLBMDA members when they visit their Congressional members during the NLBMDA Spring Meeting and Legislative Conference on March 5 to 7 in Washington, D.C.

To download the 16-page policy agenda, click here. 

 

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NRLA recognizes lumber leaders

BY Ken Clark

The Northeastern Retail Lumber Association’s Industry Recognition Dinner presented a wealth of leadership, including Lifetime Achievement honoree Joseph Lauto of Great Jones Lumber Corp.

The Wednesday night event, a highlight of the 2012 LBM Expo held at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Conn., was headlined by the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award winner Joseph F. Lauto, of Great Jones Lumber Corp. in New York City.

Also recognized were 2011 Lumber Persons of the Year from the NRLA’s regional associations:

• Central New York: Floyd Calkins, ONEtree Distribution;
• Eastern New York: Tim Wiley, Wiley Brothers;
• Connecticut: Sheldon Kahan, Interstate + Lakeland Lumber
• Long Island: Dana Schnipper, JC Ryan EBCO/H&G
• Mid Hudson: Karen Page, H.G. Page & Sons;
• Massachusetts: Charlie Smith, Brockway-Smith Co.;
• New Hampshire: Frank Quinn, Lamb & Ritchie;
• Northern New York: Dennis Haggerty, Huttig Building Products;
• Rhode Island: Bruce Charleson, Arnold Lumber Co.;
• Maine: Frank Rankin, Rankin’s; and
• Vermont: Norman Greenberg, H. Greenberg and Son.

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