Permit activity falls sharply in June
While housing starts rose slightly last month, the number of housing permits issued in June fell sharply, according to figures released by the Commerce Department.
Housing starts rose 2.3 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.467 million. Total building permits fell 7.5 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.406 million units and were down 25.2 percent from a year earlier.
“The small overall increase in total housing starts does not signal the end of the housing downswing,” said National Association of Home Builders chief economist David Seiders. “All of the gain occurred on the multi-family side, which is subject to sizeable month-to-month volatility.”
Starts of new single-family homes slipped by 0.2 percent during June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.151 million units, 21.6 percent below a year earlier.
Multi-family housing starts, on the other hand, increased 12.5 percent during the month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 316,000, which was 9.7 percent below the rate of June 2006.
Total building permits fell 7.5 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.406 million units and were down 25.2 percent from a year earlier.
Single-family permit issuance last month fell 4.1 percent to 1.019 million units, 27.5 percent below a year earlier, while multi-family permits declined 15.3 percent to 387,000 units, which was 18.4 percent below the annual rate set in June 2006.
Regionally, starts of new homes and apartments in June were up 9 percent in the West and 2.4 percent in the South, following sharp declines in May. Starts were down 3.7 percent in the Midwest and 2.4 percent in the Northeast. All four regions experienced a construction pace that was down substantially from a year earlier.
BlueLinx and CCA Global form partnership
BlueLinx Holdings, one of the industry’s leading building materials distributors, has entered into a logistics partnership with CCA Global Partners, a $10.2 billion organization of flooring retailers, buying groups and other affiliates.
Under the long-term agreement, BlueLinx will deliver CCA Global’s private label flooring line, called Global Direct, to the company’s nationwide network of more than 2,300 retailers. Utilizing its sales force, BlueLinx will create demand for the Global Direct flooring line as well as provide customer service, manage inventory and accounts receivable.
CCA Global will continue to source and own the inventory, which includes approximately 100 skus of solid and engineered wood, laminate and cork flooring. BlueLinx has exclusive rights to distribute the CCA Global Direct flooring line, including delivery of cartons, pallets, truckloads and direct containers.
“This is a ground breaking relationship for CCA Global and an innovative development for our industry,” said Jim Gould, CCA Global chief product officer. “We have worked with BlueLinx for the past year and have been impressed with their capabilities. Our new, expanded relationship allows us to globally source products and leverage BlueLinx’s expertise to manage the sales and inventory process across America, providing just-in-time local delivery.”
George Judd, BlueLinx president and chief operating officer, noted some additional opportunities for his Atlanta-based firm. “BlueLinx is well positioned to offer CCA Global business owners ancillary products that accompany the sale of flooring products, including mouldings, underlayment, fasteners and tools, as well as unfinished hardwood,” he said.
IKEA plans ‘sleepover’ promotion
IKEA is planning a special promotion at an Oslo, Norway, location during which shoppers will be able to spend the night in specially furnished rooms during the week of July 23-27, according to a report by the AFP.
Shoppers will be able to reserve rooms free-of-charge decorated as a bridal suite, luxury suite, a dormitory with bunks and family rooms.
IKEA has dubbed the area the IKEA Hostel, and guests will be able to check in at 10 p.m., one hour before the store closes. Guests will be allowed to take home bathrobes and their bedsheets.
“It will be like an alternative hostel,” company spokesman Frode Ullebust told the AFP. Ullebust added it is the first time IKEA has tried the promotion.