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US construction spending up 0.1 percent in January
The Associated Press via ABC News
U.S. construction spending showed a tiny increase in January as strength in housing helped to offset declines in nonresidential building and government projects.
Construction spending edged up 0.1 percent in January, significantly slower than an upwardly revised 1.5 percent gain in December, the Commerce Department reported recently.
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Iron, glass doors bring an elegant look to homes
High-end iron and glass doors are popular on Utah's prestigious homes.
Chuck Chase, of High Country Iron, began his business between 25 and 30 years ago. He sold doors, gates and railings in Arizona before moving to Utah, where he has a family business with his son working beside him.
"Iron and glass entry doors are our flagship product," Chase said.
Study: US housing recovery uneven across markets
The U.S. housing sector is likely to experience an uneven recovery over the next five years, with some local markets bouncing back faster than others, according to a study released recently.
By 2018, the median price of single-family homes will be close to the peak reached in 2006 before the national market cratered, according to the study from the Demand Institute, a nonprofit think tank operated by The Conference Board and Nielsen. But there will be winners and losers.
Camp tax plan hits homeowners, real estate industry hard
In an effort to simplify the nation’s unwieldy tax code, Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., is socking it to homeowners. His proposal as chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, The Tax Reform Act of 2014, hits first-time home buyers, jumbo mortgage seekers, homeowners who have ratcheted up big gains in their primary residence and even homeowners who are aiming to green their homes by making them more energy efficient.
Home equity credit lines see a resurgence
Los Angeles Times
One of the mortgage products that contributed to the housing crash is booming again: new home equity credit line borrowings soared 42 percent in the final three months of 2013 and were up sharply for the entire year, to $111 billion.
But does this point to a return to the "my house is an ATM" mentality that characterized excessive home equity borrowing from 2004 through 2007, just before the crash? Should consumers — and the banks doling out the cash — be cautious about this trend?
In a rather dull US January jobs report, construction adds lustre
Daily Commercial News
U.S. net job creation in January was 113,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, marking the second month in a row of restrained increase. December’s number was +78,000.
For all of last year, the monthly average was +182,000.
In polling by various news agencies, analysts had been estimating this year’s kick-off month to be +180,000 as well. It’s a bit of a mystery why their assessment was so strong.
Economy just muddling along
Overall, economic growth was not quite as strong at the end of 2013 as originally thought, according to revised data released by the Commerce Department.
Gross domestic product — the broadest measure of economic activity — grew at a 2.4 percent annual pace in the fourth quarter, revised down from 3.2 percent originally reported in January.
Lowe's outperforms Home Depot in stormy quarter
Lowe's Cos Inc. reported strong growth in quarterly sales, showing that the No. 2 U.S. home improvement retailer was narrowing the gap with market leader Home Depot Inc.
Lowe's shares rose more than 6 percent in early trading, after the company reported that net sales increased 5.6 percent to $11.66 billion in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31.
DelBene introduces legislation to expand tax credits for small businesses
Congresswoman Suzan DelBene introduced legislation that expands tax credits for small businesses to make offering health coverage to their workers more affordable.
Her bill is the companion to legislation introduced by Senator Mark Begich from Alaska. Congressman Frank Pallone, New Jersey-3, and Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, New Hampshire-1, are also original cosponsors of the House bill.
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