News

ProDealer Conference opens in San Diego

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The 11th Annual ProDealer Conference, an educational conference that brings together key industry executives from the dealer, builder and supplier channels, kicked off Wednesday morning at Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego.

The three-day conference, sponsored by Home Channel News, features a custom builder panel, general and breakout sessions discussing relevant industry issues and the ProDealer of the Year Awards Dinner honoring Carter Lumber and Fairfax Lumber & Hardware.

About 75 early registrants attended a San Diego Padres game Tuesday night at Petco Park and saw the home team beat the Pittsburg Pirates, 5-3. The mood was further bolstered by reports from Wall Street that the Dow Jones industrial average surged about 336 points, or 2.5 percent, following the Fed cutting the target on a key interest rate by half of a percentage point.

Wednesday’s agenda includes a City of Hope golf tournament held at Riverwalk Golf Course and a keynote address by former NBA star Bill Walton. Thursday’s events will begin with an Industry Overview from speaker Joshua Rosenbaum, director of Global Industrial Group, UBS Investment Bank. Roundtable discussion topics at the conference will include Litigation Trends, Implementing a Safety Program, Supply Chain Inefficiencies and Attracting Diverse Applicants.

The ProDealer Conference runs through Sept. 21.

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PPG to sell fine chemicals business

BY HBSDEALER Staff

PPG, the conglomerate that includes Pittsburgh Paint-maker PPG Architectural Coatings, will sell its specialty chemicals business for $65 million to Milan, Italy-based ZaCh System.

Charles Bunch, CEO and chairman of PPG, said the divestiture will allow the company to focus on its goal of becoming the “leading coatings and specialty products and services company.” PPG currently is the 45th largest home improvement retailer in the United States, according to HCN’s top 500 list of home channel retailers.

“Following last week’s announcement of our potential divestiture of our auto glass businesses, this transaction is yet another step toward achieving PPG’s vision,” Bunch said.

PPG facilities included in the agreement are a pharmaceutical fine chemicals plant in LaPorte, Texas, and the PPG-Sipsy facility in Avrille, France.

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Foreclosures up 36 percent month-over-month

BY HBSDEALER Staff

According to the real estate research firm RealtyTrac, new foreclosures rose 36 percent in August compared with July to 243,947 filings, including default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions. The rate of foreclosures was at one foreclosure notice for every 510 households.

Nevada had the highest rate of foreclosures at 6,197, up 21 percent from July. That number represents one foreclosure notice for every 165 households. Six California cities had among the 10 highest rates of foreclosure filings in August, led by Modesto at one for every 79 households.

But California still had the most foreclosures overall, at 57,875, a 48 percent surge from last month. The foreclosure rate in California was one notice for every 224 households.

Foreclosures in Florida were up 77 percent to 33,932, or a rate of one notice for every 243 households.

“The jump in foreclosure filings [in August] might be the beginning of the next wave of increased foreclosure activity, as a large number of subprime adjustable rate loans are beginning to reset now,” said James Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac.

“Another significant factor in the increased level of foreclosure activity is that the number of REO filings (bank repossessions) is increasing dramatically, which means that a greater percentage of homes entering foreclosure are going back to the banks.”

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