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Wolf Appliance rolls out 54-in. grill

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Madison, Wis.-based Wolf Appliance introduced its largest grill to date — a 54-in., 51,000 Btu unit with five stainless steel burners. 

An optional side burner for high heat and preparing side dishes is available and packs 25,000 Btu into the outdoor configuration.

The company says the product is a response to consumer demand for more variety in outdoor grills. 

Completing the full-scale outdoor cooking experience, the 54-in. grill comes equipped with a hood assist system, LED-lit control knobs, a two-position electric rotisserie (that puts out 14,000 Btu), a three-position warming rack, dual halogen interior lighting, an external thermometer and hot surface ignition. 

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Loss narrows at American Woodmark

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Cabinet specialist American Woodmark Corp. reported sales for the third quarter increased 25% to $111.4 million. The company’s sales results in each of its sales channels grew at a double-digit rate during the quarter ended Jan. 31.

The Winchester, Va.-based company’s loss narrowed to $5.83 million, compared with a net loss of $9.12 million in the same quarter last year.

American Woodmark manufactures and distributes kitchen cabinets and vanities for the remodeling and new-home construction markets. Its products are sold on a national basis directly to home centers, major builders and through a network of independent distributors.

The company presently operates 11 manufacturing facilities and nine service centers across the country.

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Existing-home sales increase in January

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Existing-home sales estimates began 2011 on a positive note: up 2.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.36 million. That’s up from a downwardly revised 5.22 million in December.

According to the estimate from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released Wednesday morning, existing-home sales are 5.3% ahead of the 5.09 million place in January 2010.

"The uptrend in home sales is consistent with improvements in the economy and jobs, which are helping boost consumer confidence,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “The extremely favorable housing affordability conditions are a big factor, but buyers have been constrained by unnecessarily tight credit. As a result, there are abnormally high levels of all-cash purchases, along with rising investor activity.”

The housing inventory situation is improving, according to the report. Total housing inventory at the end of January fell 5.1% to 3.38 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 7.6-month supply at the current sales pace, down from an 8.2-month supply in December. The inventory supply is at the lowest level since December 2009 when there was a 7.3-month supply.

Meanwhile, the prices of homes are slipping. The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $158,800 in January, down 3.7% from January 2010, according to the NAR. Distressed homes edged up to a 37% market share in January from 36% in December. The figure stood at 38% in January 2010.

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