Simpson Strong-Tie donates $25,000 to Sandy relief efforts
Simpson Strong-Tie has announced it will make a $25,000 donation to assist in the relief response and recovery efforts throughout the East Coast in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The funds were given directly to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and will aid in providing food, shelter, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by the hurricane.
The Pleasanton, Calif., manufacturer will also be matching employees’ personal contributions to the Red Cross and other nonprofit disaster relief organizations.
“Our deepest sympathies go out to those who have been impacted by this tragedy,” said Simpson Strong-Tie president Terry Kingsfather. “We hope that through the combined national support efforts, the East Coast will be able to quickly recover and rebuild the communities that have been devastated.”
List of Improving Housing Markets leaps ahead
The number of U.S. housing markets showing consistent improvement in three key measures of strength expanded by 22 in November to a total of 125, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI). This marks a third consecutive monthly gain for the index, which now includes representatives from across 38 states, as well as the District of Columbia.
Markets added to the list in November include such geographically diverse locations as San Diego; Gainesville, Fla.; Omaha, Neb.; Louisville, Ky.; and Charlotte, N.C. The three indicators that are analyzed to compile the monthly index are employment growth from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, housing price appreciation from Freddie Mac and single-family housing permit growth from the U.S. Census Bureau.
"Not only did 22 additional markets qualify for the improving list in November, but the geographic distribution of included metros expanded from 33 states to 38 (plus the District of Columbia), while 97 out of 103 markets retained their spots on the list from the previous month," observed Barry Rutenberg, NAHB chairman and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. "This shows that a housing recovery is firmly taking root and helping generate needed jobs and economic growth across much of the country — though we know that this expansion could be even stronger were it not for ongoing challenges, including overly tight lending conditions and difficult appraisals."
"The solid increase in the number of improving housing markets this month illustrates the degree to which the housing recovery has gained momentum since we initiated the IMI last year," noted NAHB chief economist David Crowe. "Compared with the 30 markets that made the list as of November 2011, we now have 125, which is about one-third of all the markets surveyed for this index."
"This new high point for the Improving Markets Index provides the latest evidence that housing has turned a corner due to rising demand from consumers who are increasingly confident about the direction of local home values," said Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman of First American Title Insurance Company.
A complete list of all 125 metropolitan areas currently on the IMI, and separate breakouts of metros newly added to or dropped from the list in November, is available from the NAHB by clicking here.
Newsweek ranks 15 greenest retailers in America
Home Depot has been recognized in Newsweek magazine’s annual Green Rankings as the No. 4 greenest large retailer in the United States. Lowe’s took the No. 11 spot.
Here is Newsweek’s ranking of the 15 greenest U.S. retailers:
1. Office Depot
3. Best Buy
4. The Home Depot
5. Wal-Mart Stores
8. J.C. Penney
9. Sears Holdings
10. Whole Foods Market
11. Lowe’s Cos.
12. Kroger Co.
13. Costco Wholesale
To produce the 2012 Green Rankings, Newsweek collaborated with two leading environmental research providers, Trucost and Sustainalytics, to assess each company’s environmental footprint, management of that footprint and transparency. The Green Rankings focus on the largest publicly traded companies in America and worldwide. Each list consists of the largest 500 companies by revenue (most recent fiscal year), market capitalization and number of employees, as of April 30, 2012. A number of the largest U.S.-based companies appear on both lists.