On April 21 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published aproposed rule that aims to clarify the definition of “waters of the U.S.” under the Clean Water Act which wouldsignificantly expand federal control of land and water resources across the nation – creating additional permitting and regulatory requirements. The public has until July 21 to submit written comments on the proposed rule.
EPA recently released a draft scientific report on the connectivity of water that is intended to guide the proposed rule. As part of the Waters Advocacy Coalition, ABC submitted comments on the report stating it provides no scientific support to more »
Following a modest two-month recovery in the level of demand for design services, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) again turned negative last month. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to 12-month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the March ABI score was 48.8, down sharply from a mark of 50.7 in February. This score reflects a decrease in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 57.9, up from the reading of 56.8 the previous more »
Freddie Mac released its Multi-Indicator Market Index(SM) (MiMi(SM)) for February April 23, showing the U.S. housing market overall recovering at a slightly slower pace from the previous month. However, more than half of all states, as well as more than half of the top 50 metro areas, continue to show an improving trend. Eleven states and the District of Columbia, and four metro areas, are in their stable range of housing activity, unchanged from last month. One year ago, seven states and the District of Columbia, and zero metro areas, were in their stable range.
- The national MiMi value stands at -3.11 points more »
Sales of newly built, single-family homes fell 14.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 384,000 units in March, according to data released last week by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.
“We keep hearing from our members that tight credit conditions are preventing many first-time buyers and younger families from being able to buy a home,” said Kevin Kelly, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. “Congress must outline a clear policy on housing finance so that qualified buyers can get home more »
The Ditch Witch organization is proud to announce the 2013 Crescent Club Top 10 membership roster. This is the highest dealership honor.
“This award recognizes the top Ditch Witch dealerships’ teams dedicated to providing customers the application expertise, service, and products needed to help them be more productive with their time,” said Tiffany Sewell-Howard, chief executive officer, The Charles Machine Works, Inc. manufacturer of Ditch Witch products. “We’re in this together with our customers and our Crescent Club Top 10 dealership members exemplify that commitment.”
The 2013 Crescent Club Top 10 members are:
Led by a 6 percent rise in single-family starts, nationwide housing production rose 2.8 percent above an upwardly revised February rate of 920,000 to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 946,000 units in March, according to newly released figures from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau.
“We see improving signs of new-home construction as we move into the spring buying season,” said Kevin Kelly, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. “The strongest recovery is in the Northeast and Midwest, where builders were hampered by severe winter weather earlier in the year.”
“Today’s report is in line with our more »
More than 470 people from 28 countries attended the International Awards for Powered Access on April 3, in Windsor, UK, where 14 winners were recognized for best practices, excellence and innovation in the industry.
The IAPA awards are jointly organized by Access International and the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF).
The IAPAs took place on the same day as the IPAF Summit, where the audience of more than 200 was kept engaged through the panel of top-class speakers who delivered excellent presentations and scope for discussion.
During his closing speech, Tim Whiteman, IPAF CEO, revealed that the next IPAF Summit and IAPAs will be held on more »
Atlas Copco has announced plans to fully integrate the Houston Service Industries (HSi) operations and brand into Atlas Copco by early 2015. As part of the integration process, in December of this year HSi operations will relocate from the facility at 7901 Hansen Road, Houston, to the Atlas Copco facility at 15045 Lee Road, Houston.
“We remain fully committed to the products and industries served by HSi and the relocation and brand changes are the next steps in the integration plan with Atlas Copco,” said Sebastien Bidault, general manager, Houston Service Industries. “This will allow us to further expand our production capacity, more »
According to the 2014 BMO Housing Confidence Report released April 15, 44 percent of homeowners intend to buy a property in the next five years. This represents a slight drop from 2013, but still signals a high level of confidence in Canada’s housing market –particularly among those under 30 years of age.
However, results vary widely in Canada’s major city centers:
- Intent to buy has surged in Montreal, with 63 percent planning to purchase a property in the next five years – up 13 points from last year
- Half of those in the Greater Toronto Area (51 percent) plan to buy in the next more »
Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) April 17, showing average fixed mortgage rates easing further for the second consecutive week helping to increase home buyer affordability at the onset of the spring home buying season.
- 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.27 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending April 17, 2014, down from last week when it averaged 4.34 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.41 percent.
- 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.33 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.38 percent. A year ago at this time, more »