News

Starts step back in December

BY HBSDealer Staff

The year of residential construction ended with a dud in December. Housing starts slipped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,192,000 — down 8.2% from the revised November estimate.

Single-family starts in December were at a pace of 836,000 — down 11.8% from the revised November figure. Single-family building permits were up 1.8%.

Compared to a year ago, December’s rate of total starts were down 6.0%. And for those looking for bright spots from a dreary report, single-family starts increased 3.5% year-over-year.

Despite the variety of declines contained in Thursday morning’s report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the preliminary 12-month total for 2017 housing starts — not the rate, but the actual number — rose to 1,202,000. That’s 2.4% above the 2016 figure of 1,173,800.

On a regional basis, the government data showed the following for December’s SAAR:

Year over year change

  • Northeast — down 1.1%
  • Midwest — down 19.8%
  • South — up 2.8%
  • West — up 12.0%

Monthly change

  • Northeast — down 4.3%
  • Midwest — down 2.2%
  • South — down 14.2%
  • West — down 0.9%

View the Census data here.

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HBSDealer Stock Watch: Stout finish for Wednesday

BY HBSDealer Staff

It was a solid Wednesday end-of-day for companies on the HBSDealer Stock Watch, particularly in building materials, with BXC rising 11.09%, BLDR up 2.89%, and USG up 1.73%.

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Feeney provides CableRail for veterans’ retreat

BY HBSDealer Staff

Feeney, Inc., the manufacturer of stainless steel and aluminum railing systems, provided the Travis Mills Foundation with CableRail products for a waterfront cottage at the foundation’s recently opened 11,000 sq.-ft. retreat center in Maine.

Located on 17 acres on a lake in Hallowell, Maine, the Travis Mills Foundation Veterans Retreat offers an all-inclusive, all-paid place of rest and relaxation for U.S. military families, including access to water and land recreational activities along with on-site spa services.

“Our foundation is fortunate to have partnered with Feeney for the waterfront cottage at our national retreat center,” said U.S. Army SSG (Ret.) Travis Mills, president and founder of the Travis Mills Foundation. “America's military families sacrifice so much so that we may all live free, and we're honored that Feeney would work with us provide for our retreat.”

“The best part is that Feeney’s cable railing provides visibility for those veterans who are wheelchair bound to still enjoy scenic views of the lake, while also providing a durable product we'll be able to rely on for years to come,” Mills added.

Mills founded the non-profit organization in 2013 to help combat injured veterans overcome physical obstacles and strengthen their families while also offering much needed rest and relaxation. In 2015, with the aim of providing a place where veterans and their family members could return together to an active lifestyle, the foundation purchased the Maine property. Since opening its doors in June 2017, the retreat center has welcomed more than 54 military families — and plans to host families for at least 40 weeks each year.

Based in Oakland, Calif., Feeney produces residential and commercial construction products for exterior or interior applications include CableRail stainless steel cable assemblies, Quick-Connect auto-locking cable fittings, DesignRail aluminum railing systems with optional LED lighting, Sta-Lok stainless steel rods, and the Trellis Collection of garden trellises.

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