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Perennial Wood porches enter South Atlantic

BY Ken Clark

Perennial Wood porch flooring expanded distribution in the South Atlantic through Snavely Forest Products.

The new line of long-lasting, real wood, tongue-and-groove porch flooring is the first Perennial Wood product to be distributed in the South Atlantic. Perennial Wood is a product of Kingsport, Tenn.-based Eastman Chemical Co.

The move expands the porch product availability to professionals and homeowners in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

“Homeowner investments in outdoor living areas, including porches, continue to trend upwards in our country,” said Brant Mitchell, market development manager for Perennial Wood porch flooring. “The durability of Perennial Wood porch flooring provides a real wood option that is guaranteed to last. Now homeowners and builders in the South Atlantic states can invest in porches that will be enjoyed for generations to come.”   

Modified through TruLast Technology, Perennial Wood is three times more dimensionally stable than unmodified wood and resists changes from moisture for decades, according to Eastman. The modification process makes it less susceptible to shrinking and swelling, which can lead to separation between boards, as well as cupping and warping.

According to Eastman, Snavely Forest Products was chosen for its market knowledge, reputation and track record.

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Existing-home sales rise 7.8%

BY Ken Clark

Existing-home sales continued to improve in August, according to the National Association of Realtors. 

"The housing market is steadily recovering with consistent increases in both home sales and median prices,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “More buyers are taking advantage of excellent housing affordability conditions.” 

The NAR’s tally shows existing-home sales in August increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.82 million, up 7.8% from 4.47 million in July. Compared with a year ago, the rate of sales is up 9.3%.

Total existing-home sales are defined as completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops. 

Also from the NAR report, the national median price rose on a year-over-year basis for the sixth straight month. The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $187,400 in August, up 9.5% from a year ago. 

The last time there were six back-to-back monthly price increases from a year earlier was from December 2005 to May 2006. 

Yun added that markets in the West and Florida are experiencing inventory shortages, pushing home prices up.

NAR President Moe Veissi , broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami, said some buyers are involuntarily sidelined. "Total sales this year will be 8% to 10% above 2011, but some buyers are frustrated with mortgage availability. If most of the financially qualified buyers could obtain financing, home sales would be about 10% to 15% stronger, and the related economic activity would create several hundred thousand jobs over the period of a year."

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The challenge of collecting consumer information

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Consumers continue to be cautious about sharing their personal information, according to an online survey conducted by LoyaltyOne, a global provider of coalition loyalty, customer analytics and loyalty services.

Among 1,000 respondents surveyed, LoyaltyOne found that 78% of them do not feel they receive any benefit at all from sharing information, up from 74% in 2011; less than half feel that companies use their personal data to better serve the consumer, an 11% slip from 2011; and 62% said they would share more personal data if it meant receiving relevant product and service offers, down from 66% in 2011.

"These responses point to an unmistakable trend. Marketers’ efforts to create relevant customer experiences through data need to be re-addressed or they run the risk of their efforts not resonating with customers," LoyaltyOne president Bryan Pearson said. "Consumers are disappointed. For years they’ve provided their valuable information and they’re not realizing something of suitable worth in return. If businesses don’t act quickly to demonstrate they have the consumer’s best interest at heart, they risk an erosion of the business-to-consumer relationship." 

The survery also found that only 50% said they’d be willing to give a trusted company their religious affiliation, followed by their political affiliation and sexual orientation (both 49%), health information (36%), mental health information (26%), browsing history (24%) and smartphone location and number of sexual partners (tied at 15% each). Last on the list was their social security number (11%). 

For detailed results of the report, click here.

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