tag: business


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Housing gains ground in stimulus package

There's fevered activity on Capitol Hill as the Senate contemplates the stimulus bill, and measures addressing the housing crises have been dominating the conversation.

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Will the Senate make housing a stimulus priority?

As the Senate begins putting its stamp on the stimulus package, it's under pressure to devote substantial resources to housing-market relief.

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NAHB: National Green Building Standard gets ANSI approval

One of the most important and comprehesive green-construction rating systems for residential builders ever proposed, the ICC/NAHB 700, has been approved by the American National Standards Institute.

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A little state's big struggle with the foreclosure crisis

Rhode Island is trying to make the most of $19.6 million it received as part of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program passed by Congress last year. It's not an easy task.

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Fireman's launches green homeowner insurance in Minnesota

Fireman’s Fund Insurance, one of the first insurers to offer green coverage in the U.S., announced this week it is offering green homeowner insurance in Minnesota.

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Trimming time, waste, and unfairness from foreclosures

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A Harvard economist offers his ideas for improving the foreclosure process.

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A cold December for new-home sales

Existing-home sales saw an unexpected uptick in December, but the month was far less kind to new-home sales, which fell 14.7%, according to data released Thursday by the Commerce Department.

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Trade shows versus the real world

Trade shows versus the real world

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The first construction-industry trade show I ever attended was probably the National Hardware Show in Chicago, which would have been, to use my mother’s term, umpteen years ago. I had only...

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NAHB: Show attendance parallels downturn

The National Association of Home Builders International Builders’ Show, which featured exhibits by more than 1,600 companies, attracted 60,000 attendees to Las Vegas last week, about a third fewer than attended the show in 2008.

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Watching Caterpillar, housing navigate troubled waters

Investors responded to news of widespread layoffs by erasing the morning’s triple-digit gains on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. But by the closing bell, the DJIA landed with a modest gain, mostly because the National Association of Realtors’ news about December’s home sales had calmed nerves.

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Why TARP is troubled

We’ve had plenty of time to digest the fact that many of the big banks that received billions under the Troubled Asset Relief Program didn’t respond as government officials hoped. Mainly, most of the big banks that got money haven’t increased lending.

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Home Depot to cut 7,000 jobs, close Expo Design Center

Home Depot announced that it will trim 7,000 jobs and close its 34 Expo Design Centers, five YardBIRDs stores, two Design Centers, and seven HD Bath stores.

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Housing inventory edges down, homebuilder shares edge up

There are still too many houses on the market, foreclosures continue to mount, and prices are still dropping, but at least December saw a better-than-expected uptick in sales of existing homes, which prompted a rally in shares of some of the nation’s big homebuilders.

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Another day at the show

Another day at the show

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The folks at Rigid have introduced a couple of new tools that look interesting to me. One is a small cirular saw designed to cut fiber-cement siding that has a built-in dust collection...

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Mortgage-related layoffs ease

It’s too early to tell whether this part of the residential real estate machinery has actually hit bottom, but refinancing and foreclosure-mitigation are small first steps toward eventual housing-market recovery.

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Jobless claims climb, housing starts fall

Housing starts in December and jobless claims last week set records. Unfortunately.

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Southern California housing trawls the depths

With prices falling and lenders off-loading foreclosed properties at deep discounts, few want to pay "retail" for a new home, so builders have put the brakes on new construction.

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Housing experts do another reality check on 2009

Tuesday was a day of sober reminders about the challenges ahead, first from President Obama in his inauguration speech, and then from a panel of housing experts at the International Builders’ Show who said 2009 likely will be when the housing market hits bottom.

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Greenest siding on the planet, among other things

Greenest siding on the planet, among other things

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Yesterday started at 6:00 am with a 3-mile run on the Vegas Strip, and it ended around 1:00 am this morning when my computer froze up as I was trying to post this blog. I lost what I had written and...

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Yet another look at builders' struggle with lenders

While the largest builders likely have enough cash to weather the downturn, that’s not true for many of the small and medium-size builders, who account for about 70 percent of new-home construction. NAHB estimates that at least 20,000 builders — about a fifth of the total nationwide — have closed up shop in the last two years.

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