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Archive for the ‘housing’ tag

Positive leading indicators

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Good news today from the big boxes. Home Depot reported fourth-quarter sales up 32% thanks to a revival in the nation’s housing market:

Home Depot, like its peers, has been benefiting from recent improvements in the housing market. The broad revival has made the retailer a popular choice with investors, pushing the stock up 36% in the past 12 months.

“We ended the year with a strong performance as our business benefited from a continued recovery in the housing market coupled with sales related to repairs in the areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy,” Chief Executive Frank Blake said on Tuesday.

The boys in blue are up, too:

Lowe’s chief executive, Robert A. Niblock, said the company was seeing a pickup in spending even in areas of the country hit hardest by the housing slump, like Florida, Arizona and California.

“Rising home values have given homeowners additional confidence in spending on their homes,” Mr. Niblock said in an interview.

I’m not an economist, but these numbers are consistent with what I’ve been hearing from landscape contractors around the country: Business is picking up again, if slowly, and consumers are starting to spend again.

Written by CBOWEN@GIE.NET

February 27th, 2013 at 3:33 pm

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No one’s home

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The housing market continues to improve in pockets, but many large metros are still plagued by large numbers of vacant homes:

Vacant properties have increased by 43.8 percent nationwide since 2000, according to the Census Bureau. Homes can be vacant for many reasons, but are defined by the bureau as both unoccupied rental inventory as well as homes that are unoccupied and “for sale.” As of 2011, there were about 14.3 million year-round vacant housing units in the country, with a 10.6 percent gross vacancy rate that excludes seasonal vacancies such as vacation homes.

Earlier this year, the Cleveland Federal Reserve analyzed the impact of foreclosed and vacant homes on the surrounding communities. The study found that a vacant or tax-delinquent house decreases the value of nearby homes by at least 1.3 percent, thanks to poor maintenance, and making the neighborhood appear less desirable.

This effect is amplified in higher-income neighborhoods where a vacancy or foreclosure has a negative price impact of 4.6 percent.

CNBC compiled a slideshow of the 10 emptiest U.S. cities, which you can find here. Some of these will surprise you.

Written by CBOWEN@GIE.NET

July 26th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

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Weekly round-up

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Here’s our weekly digest of cool stuff we found online. Enjoy!

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June 8th, 2012 at 11:27 am

Weekly round-up

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Here’s our weekly collection of stuff you should know about. Enjoy, and have a great three-day weekend.

Written by CBOWEN@GIE.NET

May 25th, 2012 at 12:56 pm