September housing starts jump 15%
September housing starts showed double-digit increases compared with both last year and last month, according to data released this morning by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Housing starts came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 658,000, up 15% from the August rate of 572,000, and up 10.2% compared with September 2010.
The figure of 658,000 was the highest total housing-starts figure since April 2010, when starts stood at 687,000.
"The housing starts number this morning was good. whether it’s real — we’ll find out next month," said Joshua Rosenbaum, managing director, Global Industrial Group, UBS. "Some of it might be a release of pent-up demand."
While the double-digit gains could spark optimism in a building industry toiling near record lows, the single-family figures were not quite as uplifting. Single-family starts came in at a rate of 425,000, a 1.7% increase compared with August.
However, single-family starts were down 4.9% from the September 2010 figure of 447,000.
Meanwhile, building permits in September were at a rate of 594,000, 5% below the August rate of 625,000.
On a regional basis, the biggest improvement came in the Midwest, where single-unit starts increased 46% compared with the previous month. Going the other direction, single-family housing starts fell 29.3% in the Northeast on a year-over-year basis.
Energy-saving products retailer launches website
California-based e-commerce retailer Thomason Ventures has launched a new website, AlternativeHomeProducts.com, which features such energy-saving household products as inverter fuses, inverter remotes, solar panels, rechargeable lights, solar kits, solar accessories, wireless HD tuners, tools and power packs.
"We want to educate consumers about numerous products that are better for the environment and save money too,” said co-founder Tim Buescher. “We have some great products available that can help homeowners get off the grid and generate their own electricity."
New products are added to the site routinely, and customers can search and browse for available products by category.
Thomason Ventures Incorporated was founded in 2011.
Hunter Douglas appoints VP sales
Hunter Douglas has promoted Norm Malone, previously VP corporate marketing programs, to VP sales and marketing for the Hunter Douglas Fabrication Division. He will report to Randy Liken, president of the Fabrication Division.
During Malone’s time at Hunter Douglas, he has developed successful consumer promotions, including the annual Holiday Sales Event and a turnkey dealer advertising program. He has also increased participation in the Hunter Douglas Windows To The World dealer travel incentive program.
“Norm has played a vital role for our company in helping to develop, implement and manage an important group of marketing programs that enable Hunter Douglas dealers to attract more consumers and increase sales of our products," said Marv Hopkins, president and CEO of Hunter Douglas. "We look forward to his continued success in our Fabrication Division, where he will lead both the sales and marketing efforts.”
Malone has more than 30 years of experience in sales and marketing management. Previously, he served as director of sales and marketing for Marble Crafters USA. He also served for six years as VP sales and marketing for Elmar.