Single-family starts challenged by weather, financing
Bad weather deserves part of the blame for the decline in January single-family housing starts, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
Government data released Wednesday morning showed single-family starts for January at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 413,000, down 1.0% from December. Total starts increased 14.6%.
"Considering the abnormally poor weather conditions that prevailed across most of the country last month, along with the continuing difficulty that builders are having in obtaining financing for new construction, the fact that single-family starts held virtually unchanged while multi-family starts posted solid gains is encouraging," said Bob Nielsen, chairman of the NAHB and a home builder from Reno, Nev. "Any gain in housing production means more people are being put back to work, and is a sign that builders are preparing for improving demand for new homes in the spring."
NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said the report echoes the sentiment found in builder surveys. "Builders see spotty buyer interest but remain very cautious as credit remains tight and buyer confidence uncertain," he said.
Benjamin Obdyke names new executive
Benjamin Obdyke has named Tara Murray as its new marketing manager, reporting directly to general manager Michael Coulton. In her new position, Murray will be responsible for the development and implementation of marketing plans supporting all Benjamin Obdyke existing and new products.
Murray comes to the company from CertainTeed Corp., where she worked in the ceilings division and held posts of increasing responsibility in product marketing and marketing communications. She began her career with the print and digital design services agency Warkulwiz Design Associates.
Based in Horsham, Pa., Benjamin Obdyke is a manufacturer of roof and wall products for the residential and commercial construction markets.
Owens Corning reports positive full-year results
Toledo, Ohio-based Owens Corning reported full-year consolidated net sales of $5.0 billion, up 4% from net sales of $4.8 billion in 2009. Net earnings totaled $933 million, compared with net earnings of $64 million in 2009.
The company reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $110 million, compared with a net loss of $21 million in the same period in 2009. Fourth-quarter 2010 adjusted earnings were $29 million, up from $1 million in the year-ago period.
For the full financial report, click here.