Mechatronix Team 3313 from Alexandria, MN

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At competition since Wednesday in the Twin Cities at Williams Arena. Currently the team from School District 206 here in Alexandria, MN is ranked 1 with a score of 6-0-0. They won every match. Congratulations to the team and Coach Bydlon.

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New Home Inventory. PART FIVE. 3.27.13

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I copied this blog from Tom Sanderson…

New home inventories increase slightly but remain very low by historical standards
Posted By: Tom Sanderson
Date Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 11:48 AM
New home inventory was up slightly at 152k in February, the highest level since December 2011. The absolute inventory of new homes (seasonally adjusted) was fairly level throughout 2012 at 143,000 to 151,000. Still, as our first graph shows, we have lower inventory levels than at any period in the last 46 years. Inventories were at 146k a year ago. Seasonally adjusted new home inventories total 4.4 months of supply, up slightly from 4.2 last month which was the lowest point since July 2005. The average months of supply over the last 50 years is 6.2 so by this measure the housing inventory picture has vastly improved. For the 9-year period of 1997 through 2005, the inventory level averaged 4.1 months with relatively little volatility, despite the dot-com boom and subsequent recession. Any recovery in the rate of sales would quickly deplete the low absolute inventory level and lead to a significant increase in housing starts (and freight). New home starts have been on the rise, with inventory leveling off, indicating sales have been keeping pace with the increase in construction. The vertical bars in the graphs represent recessions.



Housing starts top 900k annual pace for third straight month

Posted By: Tom Sanderson
Date Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 1:37 PM

Housing starts increased to 917 thousand in February from a revised 910 thousand in January (seasonally adjusted annual rate). Housing starts totaled 782k in 2012 up from 612k in 2011. Single unit structures totaled 618 thousand, up slightly from January and the third straight month above a 600k annual pace. Total starts reached a low mark of 478k in April of 2009, while single unit starts bottomed out at 353k in March of 2009. Housing starts still remain far below the average of just over 1.5 million per year over the last 40+ years, and even farther below the 2.2 million peak of the most recent housing boom. Total starts have been under 1 million (SAAR) for 56 straight months, far longer than in previous housing recessions, averaging only 657k during this stretch. Since 1968, the U.S. population has grown from 200 million to over 300 million. Low housing starts not only impact transportation demand for building products but also for appliances, furniture, and other related items. One analyst estimates that each housing start generates 8 truckloads of freight. The vertical bars represent recessions

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New Home Inventory. PART FOUR. 3.27.13

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U.S. Census Bureau News Joint Release
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
U.S. Department of Commerce Washington, D.C. 20233

Raemeka Mayo or Stephen Cooper

Manufacturing and Construction Division (301) 763-5160

Sales of new single-family houses in February 2013 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to
estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
This is 4.6 percent (±20.4%)* below the revised January rate of 431,000, but is 12.3 percent (±23.3%)* above the
February 2012 estimate of 366,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in February 2013 was $246,800; the average sales price was $313,700. The
seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of February was 152,000. This represents a supply of 4.4
months at the current sales rate.
New Residential Sales data for March 2013 will be released on Tuesday, April 23, 2013, at 10:00 A.M. EDT.
Our Internet site is:
To receive the latest updates on the Nation’s key economic indicators, download the America’s Economy app for Apple and Android
smartphones and tablets.
* 90% confidence interval includes zero. The Census Bureau does not have sufficient statistical evidence to conclude that the actual change is different from zero.
These statistics are estimated from sample surveys. They are subject to sampling variability as well as nonsampling error including bias and variance from response,
nonreporting, and undercoverage. Estimated average relative standard errors of the preliminary data are shown in the tables. Whenever a statement such as “2.5
percent (±3.2%) above” appears in the text, this indicates the range (-0.7 to +5.7 percent) in which the actual percent change is likely to have occurred. All ranges
given for percent changes are 90-percent confidence intervals and account only for sampling variability. If a range does not contain zero, the change is statistically
significant. If it does contain zero, the change is not statistically significant; that is, it is uncertain whether there was an increase or decrease. The same policies apply
to the confidence intervals for percent changes shown in the tables. Changes in seasonally adjusted statistics often show irregular movement. It takes 3 months to
establish a trend for new houses sold. Preliminary new home sales figures are subject to revision due to the survey methodology and definitions used. The survey is
primarily based on a sample of houses selected from building permits. Since a “sale” is defined as a deposit taken or sales agreement signed, this can occur prior to a
permit being issued. An estimate of these prior sales is included in the sales figure. On average, the preliminary seasonally adjusted estimate of total sales is revised
about 3 percent. Changes in sales price data reflect changes in the distribution of houses by region, size, etc., as well as changes in the prices of houses with identical
characteristics. Explanations of confidence intervals and sampling variability can be found on our web site listed above.
U.S. Census Bureau News

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New Home Inventory. PART THREE. 3.27.13

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New Home Inventory at Record Lows
The National Associaton of REALTORS published a report on housing inventory today that provides an interesting national picture of what is happening in real estate. The most remarkable piece of the report was the new housing inventory report. According to sources Census Bureay and Haver Analytics, Inventory of New Single Family homes is at its lowest level in 50 years.

According to Jack Hardy, CEO of Century 21 Hometown, “Inventory for new homes is as low as I can remember. The only inventory is Shane Creek in Templeton (for sale since 2006) which should sell out in the next few months. There is also little project in Arroyo Grande on Spruce Street with one sold, and three left.”

Century 21 Hometown works with S&S Homes, one of the area’s largest new home builders. They have a little project coming online in Nipomo this year – only 6 units. Hardy says that other than that, “The old pig farm on Farro Road between Oak Park and 13th street should come online next year with 48 units.”

“Overall, every type of inventory is very limited. We have a backlog of buyers looking for homes. We are listing about 100 homes every 30 days but we had 197 transactions last month.” says Hardy.

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New Home Inventory. PART TWO. 3.27.13

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Inventory-of-Housing-US.GraphThe U.S. Inventory of Unsold New Homes Achieved a Key Milestone in May
06/25/2012 by Alex Carrick
How much better is the U.S. new homes market? It’s taken six-and-a-half years to achieve, but it can finally be reported that market equilibrium – after a fashion – has been restored.

The graphs accompanying this article tell the story. The statistics quoted are from monthly press releases issued jointly by the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The number of unsold new homes started climbing in 2004 (Graph 1). That wasn’t a problem at first because sales stayed strong (Graph 2).

As a result the “number-of-months inventory” – the key leading indicator that is the focus of this article – remained near its historical norm (4.5) until the end of 2005.

However, the seeds of the downturn were already being sown. Prices were being bid up by speculators in 2004 and 2005.

At the beginning of 2006, the rot set in. Price bubbles burst in resort markets such as Nevada, Arizona and Florida.

In 2007, the sub-prime mortgage crisis reared up to turn a normal housing downturn into a rout.

The number-of-months inventory figure – which is the unsold-homes level divided by the current month’s sales rate – climbed alarmingly throughout 2006, 2007 and 2008.

It maxed out at slightly more than 12 months in January 2009.

In other words, after the stroke of midnight New Year’s Eve, everyone in the homebuilding industry in the U.S. could have taken the ensuing year off.

Since then, there have been more than three years of correction. It became painful to watch, not least of all because the vast degree of improvement still required was so obvious.

The market wasn’t going to become healthier again until the inventory level returned to its old ratio (4.5).

There was one dramatically better period culminating in April 2010’s 6.2-month figure, but it was short-lived. A special circumstance had provided only temporary relief.

A $10,000 first-time home-buyer tax credit expired in the spring of 2010 after being extended from an earlier deadline in the fall of 2009.

The difficult process of lowering the number-of-months inventory began anew in May 2010 and has proceeded in stages over the past two years.

New home sales, after falling from early 2006 through 2008, finally touched bottom around 300,000 units in early 2009. Then they nested there.

Until the most recent couple of months, they’ve hardly shown any zest for a comeback.

Therefore, for the inventory figure to improve, it’s been left to the numerator – the number of unsold houses – to undergo all the adjusting.

And that’s what has happened. The number of unsold new homes has fallen progressively since early 2007.

The level of unsold new homes is now remarkably low, only 145,000 units in all the U.S. That’s less than half the level reached in previous housing market declines.

All of the foregoing brings us to the present. May’s 4.7 months of unsold inventory is the lowest reading for this crucial indicator since October 2005’s 4.5 months.

Most important, the number-of-months inventory has been restored to a position matching what occurs when the overall homebuilding sector is in balance.

The market has returned to where supply (as low as it may be) is well matched with demand (as weak as it still is).

There’s plenty of room for improvement on the buyer side. There can be no doubt about that.

But at least some measure of equilibrium is at hand.

It can hardly be overstated how important a stable, let alone improving, homebuilding sector is for the U.S. economy.

If new home starts were anything like their normal level of 1.5 million units, seasonally adjusted and annualized, there would be two million more jobs – one million in the field and an equal number in design services (architectural and engineering), financial services (real estate, legal and accounting) and manufacturing (building products).

Just as important, an improving homebuilding sector would assuredly be accompanied by a firming of prices.

The positive implications on that count would begin with individual and family balance sheets and be magnified through stronger confidence levels into more robust retail sales and consumer spending.

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New Home Inventory. PART ONE. 3.27.13

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Analysis for the Housing Market
By:Ken Lee

In January, new home inventory increased from the previous month to 150,000 units on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. After reaching an all-time record low in July, new home inventory has been steadily increasing since. Improving economic conditions combined, record-low mortgage rates and low levels of supply have builders more willing to offer speculative inventory in anticipation of higher demand. Ready-to-deliver inventory allows buyers to take advantage of record-low rates by locking in their rates now rather than waiting for the production of their new home.

New home inventory on a seasonally-adjusted basis was also at 150,000 units which was unchanged from the previous month. New home inventory on a seasonally-adjusted basis was at an all-time record low in August before increasing steadily since.

Months of inventory decline from last month due to an increase in sales activity. Seasonally adjusted months of new home inventory decreased to 4.1 months in January from 4.8 months in December. This is the lowest months of new home inventory on the market since October 2004. Months of new home inventory remain at levels that are typical in a healthy housing market.

New Homes Data is subject to large sampling and statistical errors so it would not be unusual to see large revisions in the months to come.

*New Home Inventory Units are based on non-seasonally adjusted data in order to reflect the stages current inventory is in (not started, under construction, completed).

**Months of supply is a seasonally adjusted figure in order to accurately compare month over month data.

Definitions and Importance for the Housing Market
By:Ken Lee

New home inventory is the number of new homes available for sale at any point in time. Because the housing market is very seasonal, we report and analyze seasonally adjusted information. Seasonally adjusted inventory figures allow the analyst to compare inventory levels for all months of the year.

New home inventory figures are closely watched by homebuilders and lenders. Slow sales and/or increases in construction can cause the months of inventory indicator to rise. A rise of only one month, from 4.0 to 5.0 months, for instance, can be very damaging to builders, given the sensitivity of construction interest payments on builder profit margins. A rise in inventory is also an early warning indicator that sales are slowing, competition is increasing, and price wars could begin.

We also report the months of inventory by stage of construction. Because the Census Bureau reports this detailed information only on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, we convert to seasonally adjusted by using the same percentage distribution reported by the Census Bureau on a non-seasonally adjusted basis.

New home inventory includes some units whose permits were multifamily. The sample excludes owner-built houses, contractor built houses, units built to be rented, and manufactured housing. Multifamily units are included if the units are side-by-side, have separately metered utilities, include a firewall, and were sold to a buyer.

Since the 1960s the Census Bureau has boosted new home sales data by 3.3% to take into account construction in areas where building permits are required without a building permit being issued. This type of construction would not normally be reported in the Census survey. The housing industry and trade groups believe that such unauthorized construction has virtually ceased, so the 3.3% boost was eliminated. This was not phased out over time, it was dropped completely in the revised estimates as of January 1999.

For more information on the Census Bureau’s inventory statistics, see:
Inventory information at the metropolitan level is available in both the Executive Summary and Market Monitor reports at Inventory information on specific projects is available in the Project Profile reports at www.hwmarketintelligence

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StoneManor of Alexandria, MN: PROGRESS REPORT. 3.26.2013

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2013.03.26 (12)


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Should have the doors and windows in this week…shingling is coming along…

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Snow Storm today in Alexandria, MN

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2013.March 18 (3)

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No school today in Alexandria, MN; high winds…25 mph or better, modest temps in the 20’s, light snow 2-4 inches. Hey Stan, check out the snow piles!

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Sales Report for Alexandria, MN: JANUARY 2013

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GAAAR Sales Report

I received this from the Greater Alexandria, MN Area Association of Realtors. The market is definitely moving back into a better position…

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Ag Land Sales in Douglas County, MN for 2012

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Ag Land Sales.2013

I picked up all of the individual sales for Ag Land sales in Douglas County, MN yesterday as well at the County Assessor’s Office here in Alexandria, MN.
Bottom line…taxes are going up on farmland.

Source: Douglas County, MN Assessor Office

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