Economy Boosts Housing Market

Economy Boosts Housing Market

A strengthening economy and low interest rates continued through the first quarter to provide a strong foundation for the housing industry. Among the key statistics released by government agencies, research firms and industry-related trade associations in recent weeks were the following:


HOUSING STARTS & SALES


EXISTING-HOME SALES





APPLIANCE SHIPMENTS


CABINET & VANITY SALES

Healthier Economy Bodes Well for Housing Market, Analysts Say

Stocks associated with the kitchen and bath industry declined in March. The index of 56 key stocks of building products manufacturers, distributors, retailers, home builders and e-commerce enterprises as tracked in Kitchen & Bath Design News' exclusive monthly Stock Index fell 47.84 points, or 2.01%, to close the trading period from March 5 through April 5 at 2330.01. In similar fashion, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 37.10 points, or 0.35%, ending the month-long trading period at 10558.40, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 31.49 points, or 1.54%, to close at 2079.12 (see Market Diary, below).

Declining stocks edged out advancing issues 30-24. Twenty-two of the stocks rose to a new 52-week high, while one fell to a new annual low and two remained unchanged. KMart, Stanley Works and Owens Corning were top gainers, while Wickes and Beazer Homes were among the session's top losers.

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