Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Today's Numbers: Remodeling in Recovery (and much more)

Projected increase in remodeling activity, 3Q 2013: 19.7%

Great news from Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, released yesterday:
"All signs point to a strong rebound for home improvement activity in 2013, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) .... Robust spending in the second half of 2012 suggests the remodeling recovery is already underway, and the LIRA projects annual homeowner improvement spending will see accelerating double-digit growth through the third quarter of 2013."

 Learn more here.

Growth in housing starts in December: up 12.1 percent

There's boggling news about housing starts, which surged 12.1 percent, to 954,000 in December. Economists had expected only a 3 percent increase. And that's just one of the big economic uppers of yesterday. From Reuters:
"Stronger-than-expected data on housing starts and jobless claims lit a fire under stocks on Thursday, pushing the S&P 500 to a five-year high and its third day of gains."
Note, however, that a big chunk of those gains were for multifamily housing. Here's a good roundup from Business Advisor.

U.S. banking districts that grew in late 2012: 12 (of 12)

From Wednesday's New York Times:
"Holiday shopping, strong auto sales and a recovering housing market helped boost the U.S. economy from the middle of November through early January, according to a Federal Reserve survey released Wednesday.
"The Fed said 12 of its regional banking districts reported "modest or moderate" growth in the final weeks of 2012. Of those, only St. Louis said growth had slowed from the previous survey, which covered October through early November.
"Consumers increased spending at the end of the year in every district. Auto sales were steady or stronger in 10 districts. Home sales increased in nine districts. And home building expanded in all but one."
Yay! More coverage here.

U.S. weather records "smashed" in 2012: 3,527

You probably heard that 2012 was the warmest year ever recorded in the U.S. Turns out that was just one in more than 3,500 weather records that were set last year (on top of another 3,251 that were set in 2011). Reporting on data from the Natural Resources Defense Council, Scientific American wrote:
"Last summer also produced the worst drought in 50 years across the nation's midsection: 1,300 counties in 29 states declared drought disaster areas. And wildfires burned more than 3.7 million hectares nationwide; the average fire size was 65 hectares, far exceeding the 2001-2010 average of 35 hectares."
Click here for an interactive map to find out what events hit where.

Projected annual "net benefit value" of net metering in California,: $92 million-plus

Net energy metering (NEM) is a utility-billing arrangement that allows utility customers who install photovoltaic panels to "run the meter backward" when they produce more solar power than they need at any one time. At the end of the billing period, the customer pays for the net energy used -- or receives a credit if more energy is produced than consumed. Forty-three states and the District of Columbia have adopted the use of NEM.

Learn more in this report by Crossborder Energy.

Go to the main site of daily5REMODEL.

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