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In this Issue

Housing Starts End Year on High Note

Young Adults Aren't Buying It!

Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet Introduces Built-in Pizza Oven




Housing Starts End Year on High Note

Led by solid gains in single-family housing production, nationwide housing starts rose 4.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.089 million units in December, according to newly released data from the U.S. Commerce Department. For the year, overall housing starts topped one million units.

“Today's figures continue to be in line with our recent surveys, as builders have been becoming increasingly optimistic,” said Kevin Kelly, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Delaware.

“With overall starts ending the year above one million units for the first time since 2007, we expect this momentum to carry forward in 2015,” said NAHB chief economist David Crowe. “A growing labor market and strengthening economy will spur steady growth in single-family housing production in the year ahead.”

Single-family housing production rose 7.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 728,000 in December, while multifamily starts edged one percent lower to 361,000 units.

Combined single-family and multifamily production was up in three out of four regions in December. The Northeast posted a 12.5 percent gain, the South was up 8.8 percent and the West registered a 5.8 percent increase. The Midwest posted a 13.3 percent decline.

Overall permit issuance was down 1.9 percent in December to a rate of 1.032 million. Single-family permits rose by 4.5 percent to 667,000 units while multifamily permits fell 12 percent to a rate of 365,000 units.

Regionally, permits were mixed in December. The Midwest and South posted gains of 6.7 percent and 9.6 percent, respectively, while the Northeast and West dropped 16.8 percent and 20.5 percent. 


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Young Adults Aren't Buying It!

Young adults aren't the consumers they once were. A Demo Memo analysis of Consumer Expenditure Survey data shows older Americans overtaking them as better customers in many important categories. Here is how the average spending of households headed by 25-to-34-year-olds (young adults) compares to the average spending of households headed by 65-to-74-year-olds (old folks) in 2006 and 2013.

Dinner at full service restaurants
2006: young adults spent 16 percent more than old folks
2013: young adults spent 22 percent less than old folks

Groceries
2006: young adults spent 4 percent more than old folks
2013: young adults spent 5 percent less than old folks

Entertainment
2006: young adults spent 9 percent more than old folks
2013: young adults spent 11 percent less than old folks

Women's clothes
2006: young adults spent 18 percent more than old folks
2013: young adults spent 5 percent less than old folks

Personal care products
2006: young adults spent 13 percent more than old folks
2013: young adults spent 8 percent less than old folks

Household furnishings and equipment
2006: young adult spending was the same as old folks
2013: young adults spent 13 percent less than old folks

Visit the website.


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Kalamazoo Built-In Artisan Fire Pizza Oven

Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet
Introduces Built-in Pizza Oven

At the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS), Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet launched a new version of its popular countertop Artisan Fire Pizza Oven, giving people the same performance as the original oven, but now in a built-in design.

After years of popular demand, Kalamazoo created the built-in version for people who want an oven set into a wall or masonry structure.

Offering the same performance as the company's popular countertop Artisan Fire Pizza Oven, the built-in version is ready to cook after just 20 minutes of warm-up. A Neapolitan-style pizza bakes in less than three minutes after the oven reaches its highest temperature of 800+ degrees Fahrenheit. The oven also has the versatility to roast meats, fish and vegetables.

“People want to cook amazing pizzas at home. They crave the kind of rustic pizza experience they get from a pizzeria - the kind of experience that used to require a massive brick oven,” said Russ Faulk, vice president of Design for Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet. “Our Artisan Fire Pizza Ovens deliver the extreme heat needed for making that perfect pizza, but without the extra time and skill a wood fire demands.”

Like the traditional wood-fired pizza ovens, the built-in Artisan Fire Pizza Oven is stone-lined. Pizzas cook directly on a hollow-core baking deck. Its honeycombed interior is designed to rapidly change temperature. A ceiling stone radiates heat down to quickly brown toppings.

Two independently adjustable burners deliver 250 degrees F to more than 800 degrees F of heat that can be tailored for different pizza styles, breads and meat or fish dishes.

Priced at $8,295, the oven uses natural gas or liquid propane, and is made by hand in Kalamazoo, Michigan, of stainless steel. It will withstand the rigors of a midwestern winter, or the saltwater breezes of a coastal environment.

The built-in Artisan Fire Pizza Oven is now available through their website, design professionals or Kalamazoo's dealer network.

Visit the website.


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