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Construction Starts Rose 10% in May on Nonbuilding Strength

Total construction starts rose 10% in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.24 trillion, according to Dodge Construction Network. Nonbuilding starts gained an impressive 49% during the month, driven by the start of an offshore wind project and an LNG facility, while residential starts lost 7% and nonresidential building starts were down 2%. On a year-to-date basis through May, total construction starts were up 11% from the first five months of 2023. Residential starts were up 16%, while nonbuilding starts gained 17%, and nonresidential building starts rose 3%. Read More

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Hard-Surface Report - Monitoring U.S. Imports

U.S. hard-surface imports of $395.2 million in April kept the good news rolling, with an increase of 13.3% from March and an 8% gain year-over-year. Read More

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Housing Starts Declined 5.5% in May

Privately‐owned housing starts in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,277,000, U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced. This is 5.5% below the revised April estimate of 1,352,000 and is 19.3% below the May 2023 rate of 1,583,000. Single‐family housing starts in May were at a rate of 982,000; this is 5.2% below the revised April figure of 1,036,000. The May rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 278,000. Read More

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Stalled Housing Market Shifts Remodeling Activity

Rising mortgage rates and record house prices have dramatically slowed the housing market. Sales of existing homes are averaging under four million per year at an annual rate so far this year. As recently as early 2022, homes sales were running at a pace in excess of six million per year. A major factor in this slowdown is that given high mortgage rates, many owners are reluctant to move. Mortgage rates are running around 7 percent, and residential real estate company Redfin reported earlier this year that almost 60 percent of current owners have mortgages below 4 percent, encouraging them to stay put in their current home with their current mortgage. Read More

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Future Forecast

Carpet tile is a growing segment for the soft surface flooring market, according to Catalina Research in its Floor Coverings Industry Quarterly Update released in March. Catalina estimated that carpet tile sales could have increased by 8.5 percent in dollars and 5.9 percent in square feet in 2023. “The sales increase reflects relatively strong nonresidential building construction spending since carpet tiles are generally used in commercial applications. Carpet tile sales are expected to continue to increase during 2024 since nonresidential building construction spending remains strong in early 2024,” reported Catalina. Read More

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Dimension Stone, 2022, advance-release tables

A new publication has been posted to the USGS National Minerals Information Center website Read More

Economic Indicators Industry Forecasts Industry Statistics

Employment Rose by 272,000 Jobs in May, Unemployment at 4%

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 272,000 in May, and the unemployment rate changed little at 4.0%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Read More

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Mohawk Industries reports first-quarter decline in sales

Mohawk Industries posted first-quarter 2024 revenues of US $2.7 billion, a 4.5% decline on the first quarter of 2023. The Global Ceramic segment’s sales fell by just 1.4% from $1,059 million to $1,045 million, compared to a more consistent 5.6% drop in the Flooring North America segment and a 7.4% contraction in the Flooring Rest of the World segment. Read More

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Single and Multifamily Production Growth Opposed

Fueled by a lack of existing inventory and pent-up demand, single-family permit growth is occurring across all tracked geographic regions of the nation while the opposite holds true for the multifamily sector, according to the latest findings from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Home Building Geography Index (HBGI) for the first quarter of 2024. Read More

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Buyers Compromising on Lot & Home Sizes to Achieve Ownership

High mortgage rates and double-digit growth in home prices since Covid-19 are putting buyers in a position to compromise on lot sizes and shrink their square footage to buy a home they can afford, according to survey results from National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) What Home Buyers Really Want, 2024 Edition. Read More