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October surprise: Starts hit skids

BY HBSDEALER Staff

One would have to look closely to find a bright spot from the residential construction report released by the Department of Commerce. Total housing starts fell to a seasonally adjusted rate of 519,000, down 11.7% from the downwardly revised September figure.

The results surprised the analysts. Briefing.com and other analysts were expecting starts to come in at a rate of about 600,000.

The 519,000-figure is the third lowest ever reported since the government began keeping track in 1959. The only two months to sink below the current level were April 2009, when starts were at 477,000; and January 2009, when starts were at 488,000.

Single-family starts, the bread and butter for the home channel LBM industry, came in at a rate of 436,000 — down 1.1% from the downwardly revised September figure. Last year in October, single-family starts were at 475,000.

Aglimmer of better news appeared in the Commerce Department’s tally of building permits. In October, building permits increased 0.5% to a rate of 550,000. But that’s still 4.5% below the October 2009 estimate.

Single-family building permits increased 1.0% to 406,000.

On a regional basis, the Northeast showed by far the most positive metrics. The region posted a 25.5% increase in October single-family starts compared with October 2009, and a 43.6% increase in total housing starts, compared with the prior year.

The biggest regional decline metric occurred in the West, where total starts fell 30.5% in October compared with the previous month.

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Kilz exclusive launched at Lowe’s

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Kilz has announced a new primer product designed for the pro channel that will be introduced exclusively at select Lowe’s stores in Arizona, California, Florida, New Mexico, Nevada and Texas.

Called Kilz Masonry and Stucco primer, the coating is an alkali-resistant primer that can be used on masonry and stucco surfaces just seven days after construction, whereas non-alkali-resistant primers require at least 30 days before application to recently poured masonry surfaces.

Available in a five-gallon container, Kilz Masonry and Stucco primer is specifically formulated for use on properly prepared interior and exterior above-grade masonry, stucco, plasters and poured and precast concrete. Kilz is a division of Masterchem Industries.

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Deere razes building in East Moline plant

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Deere and Co.’s Harvester Works began razing its oldest building at its East Moline, Ill., plant, according to the WCF Courier.

The C/D building, built in 1914, was the plant’s oldest and has outlived its useful lifespan, according to the article.

The demo project is the last step in a $32 million plant improvement project started in 2006.

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