Qualified Remodeler Magazine

APR 2019

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

Issue link: https://qualifiedremodeler.epubxp.com/i/1107022

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Page 14 of 102

died aƁer being incapacitated during paint and coating removal with methylene chloride. A variety of effective, less harmful substitutes are readily available for paint removal. Paint removal products containing meth- ylene chloride will not be able to be sold at any retail or distribution establishments that have consumer sales, including e-commerce sales. Those prohibitions will start 180 days aƁer the March 15 final ruling. EPA is also requiring manufacturers, pro- cessors and distributors to notify retailers and others in their supply chains about the prohibitions and to keep basic records. The Halogenated Solvents Industry Alliance, an industry group, opposed the rul- ing and said that alternative paint removers oƁen pose an increased fire risk. For more info on methylene chloride, visit: epa.gov/assessing-and-managing- chemicals- under-tsca/risk-management-methylene- chloride. Market Update Existing-home sales on the rise Existing-home sales, a driver of future re- modeling activity, rebounded strongly in February, experiencing the largest month- over-month gain since December 2015, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Three of the four major U.S. regions saw sales gains, while the Northeast remained unchanged from last month. Total existing-home sales—complet- ed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co- ops—shot up 11.8 percent from January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.51 mil- lion in February. However, sales are down 1.8 percent from a year ago (5.61 million in February 2018). Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, credited a number of aspects for the jump in February sales. "A powerful combination of lower mortgage rates, more inventory, rising income and higher consumer confidence is driving the sales rebound." The median existing-home price for all housing types in February was $249,500, up 3.6 percent from February 2018 ($240,800). February's price increase marks the 84th straight month of year-over-year gains. Total housing inventory at the end of February increased to 1.63 million, up from TOTAL HOUSING INVENTORY AT THE END OF FEBRUARY INCREASED TO 1.63 MILLION, UP FROM 1.59 MILLION. IN BRIEF 14 April 2019 QualifiedRemodeler.com For more info circle 57

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