September 2, 2009
New-Home Sales Post Another Strong Gain

WASHINGTON – New-home sales climbed more than anticipated in July, staging their fourth straight month of strong gains to add to evidence that the housing market is emerging from its long slump.

Separately, demand for long-lasting goods rebounded sharply in July, staging their biggest gain in two years on the back of big orders for planes and capital goods.

Sales of single-family homes increased by 9.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 433,000 compared to the prior month, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

That was the highest number sold since September 2008 and well above projections for a 1.6% gain to 390,000 by economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires.

The increase was the fifth in seven months, as buyers are returning to the market in search of bargains.

The market for new homes appears to have bottomed in January, when sales hit 329,000. Home construction unexpectedly fell 1% in July, however, according to data released earlier in the month.

June new-home sales were revised up to an annual rate of 395,000, a 9.1% increase, Wednesday's data showed. Originally, the government had reported an 11% jump in June sales to 384,000, though May sales were also revised up to 362,000 from 346,000.

Year over year, July new-home sales were still down 13.4%, however.

The market for new homes is expected to continue to lag sales of used homes, where foreclosures have dragged down prices.

The median price for a new home was $210,100 in July, down 11.5% from $237,300 the same month a year ago. On a monthly basis, the price edged down 0.1% from $210,400 in June.

Oversupply has been is one factor keeping prices down, though there was significant improvement in that area, as well. The ratio of houses for sale to houses sold in July was 7.5, the lowest level since April 2007 and down from 8.5 the month before. At the end of July, there were an estimated 271,000 homes for sale, the smallest number since March 1993. That compares with 280,000 in June.

Regionally last month, new-home sales jumped 32.4% in the Northeast and 16.2% in the South, with sales up 1% in the West. Sales were down 7.6% in the Midwest.

An estimated 39,000 homes were actually sold in July, up from 36,000 in June, based on figures not seasonally adjusted.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, August 26, 2009

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The Steel Framing Alliance (SFA) invites all of its members to participate in the Alliance’s 2009 annual meeting. The meeting will be held in Tampa in conjuction with METALCON, the premier metal industry trade show, on October 6, 2009, from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm at the Tampa Convention Center, Tampa, Florida.

Beginning in 2008, the SFA has embarked upon an aggressive campaign to address barriers and promote the advantages of cold-formed steel in construction. The annual meeting will provide members with an update on the activities of the Alliance as well as the Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute (CFSEI), the technical council of SFA. Attendees will also have an opportunity to provide input into the bi-annual survey of technology issues that will guide research investment for the next two years.

Featured presenters will include Mark Nowak, president of the Steel Framing Alliance, and John Matsen, president of the Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute.

Although not required, we would appreciate notification of member’s plans to attend the meeting. Please send a confirmation to if you plan to attend.

We look forward to your participation.

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September 9, 2009
Structural Engineers Association of Oregon (SEAO)
Cold-Formed Steel Design Seminar
Oregon City, OR More


October 6-8, 2009
METALCON International
Tampa, FL More


October 11-13, 2009
USGBC Greenbuild Conference
Phoenix, AZ


October 17-20, 2009
AISC COS Meetings
Chicago, IL


October 27,28,29, 2009
21st Short Course on Cold-Formed Steel Structures
St. Louis, MO More


September 20-22, 2010
Steel Structures 2010 Culture & Sustainability International
Istanbul, Turkey More



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Brought to you by the Steel Framing Alliance (SFA) on the first Wednesday of each month, Framework Online arms you with the latest news and commentary on the steel framing and construction industries. In addition to industry headlines, trends and project profiles, Framework Online provides information and ideas that will better enable members to increase their participation in the residential and commercial construction markets.