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Al's Column

October 27/November 3, 2014; Volume 28/Number 10

By FCNews staff

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 12.05.00 PMHOMES SALES UP: Sales of newly built, single-family homes inched up 0.2% in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 467,000 units, the highest level in six years, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. Sales numbers for August were revised down from 504,000 to 466,000. “Three consecutive months of sales upticks demonstrate steady growth in the housing market,” said Kevin Kelly, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). “Consistent job creation and low mortgage interest rates are spurring the release of pent-up consumer demand.”

David Crowe, NAHB chief economist, said the August revision “was not unexpected, as this figure seemed out of line with the modest housing recovery we have been seeing. The continuing increase in the inventory of new homes points to builders’ confidence in the market.” The inventory of new homes for sale increased to 207,000 in September, which is a 5.3-month supply at the current sales pace. Regionally, new home sales rose 12.3% in the Midwest and 2% in the South. Sales were unchanged in the Northeast and dropped 8.9% in the West.

NAFCD PARTERNSHIP: The North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) has formed a strategic alliance with Insperity to provide services for business management. The products deal with a variety of business functions, including payroll services, expense management and recruiting services, among others. “These offerings will help NAFCD members spend less time focused on the administrative aspects of operating their businesses and more time growing their businesses,” said Kevin Gammonley, NAFCD executive director.

DIXIE ADDS: The Dixie Group has named William Blue Jr. to its board of directors to increase the size of the board from nine to 10 members. Blue is vice chairman of Investment Banking and Capital Markets of Wells Fargo Securities based in Charlotte, N.C.
He is resigning from that position to head the Hopeway Foundation of Charlotte.

VÄLINGE WINS: Välinge successfully defended a European patent from a challenge filed by Flooring Industries Ltd.
The patent was originally filed by Mannington Mills and relates to resilient floor panels. Välinge said the Opposition Division decided in the oral proceedings to reject all opposition claims. The Välinge-Mannington patent relates to a thermoplastic laminate plank having a core, print layer and protective layer, wherein the core has a groove located on its side.

WILLIAMSON PROMOTED: Starnet Worldwide announced that Fred Williamson has been promoted to executive vice president. Williamson previously served as vice president of operations for the commercial flooring group.

WFCA FAN LEADER: The World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) has named Tish Gasparich leader of the WFCA’s affiliate, Flooring Association Northwest (FAN). Gasparich replaces Debbie Tott, who served as FAN’s executive director for 19 years. Gasparich began shadowing and training with Tott for the leadership role in July. Gasparich previously worked at Boeing in business operations and project management. She executed corporate events and logistics globally for the company, and oversaw large-scale executive projects.