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In this Issue

Phifer’s Designed Fabrics – the Summer Myrtle Collection

Apollo Award Finalists Named

Existing Home Sales Rose Solidly in May

Phifer’s Designed Fabrics –
the Summer Myrtle Collection

With an emphasis on color combinations influenced by hues of blue and green, Phifer’s new Summer Myrtle collection is a timeless fabric option. Deep peacock and spring green marry in this lush, refined and lively color grouping. Inspired by all things organic and conjuring images of hand-glazed pottery, this serene palette helps create a relaxing environment poolside or on the patio.

The Summer Myrtle collection from Phifer’s Designed Fabrics features plush, 100 percent recyclable GeoBella Cushion Fabrics and sleek, sling Phifertex Outdoor Fabrics. Made from recycled yarns, GeoBella indoor/outdoor performance fabrics offer the soft, touchable texture and comfort of indoor furniture yet are built with the stability, strength and durability needed for outdoor cushion applications. Phifertex is ideal for sling applications and can be used in awning, umbrella, pillow and new fabric applications.

Visit the website.


Apollo Award Finalists Named

The International Casual Furnishings Association has announced finalists for the 2015 Apollo Awards. The program recognizes retail excellence in the sales and marketing of outdoor furnishings.

Finalists must demonstrate outstanding accomplishments and a commitment to customer service. The ICFA membership will vote via an online ballot for a winner in each of two categories later this summer. Finalists will be honored and the winners announced at the ICFA Awards Gala on September 18 at The Field Museum during the Casual Market Chicago.  

Finalists in the 2015 competition include:

Single Store Category
AuthenTeak, Atlanta, Georgia
Hill Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Outdoor Elegance, LaVerne, California
Patios Plus, Rancho Mirage, California
Sunnyland Furniture, Dallas, Texas
Village Green Home and Garden, Rockford, Illinois

Multi-Store Category
ABSCO Fireplace & Patio, Birmingham, Alabama
Great Gatherings, Annapolis, Maryland, and Gainesville, Virginia
Outside in Style, Austin, Texas
Summer House, Tukwila, Washington
Yard Art Patio & Fireplace, Irving, Texas


Existing Home Sales Rose Solidly in May

Sales of existing homes finally perked up in a convincing way in May, as sales jumped 5.1 percent to a 5.35 million unit pace. Existing home sales are now at their highest level since November 2009, when sales spiked just before tax incentives for first-time home-buyers expired.

First-time home-buyers are also playing a role in the latest uptick in sales. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) noted that first-time buyers accounted for 32 percent of May’s purchases, up from 30 percent the prior month and 27 percent one year ago. The return of first-time buyers would mark a major shift for the housing market and coincides with earlier data that showed pending home sales (which reflect purchase contracts) running well ahead of existing home sales (which reflect closings). Moreover, recent data from the Brookings Institution show suburban population growth once again exceeding urban population growth, which would mark a favorable development for single-family home sales.

Home sales strengthened in all four regions. The Northeast, which accounts for the smallest share of overall sales, saw the largest percentage gain, with sales jumping 11.3 percent in May to a 690,000-unit pace. Sales in the South, which includes Texas and Florida, rose 4.3 percent during the month to a 2.18 million unit pace.

Sales in the West also climbed 4.3 percent during the month, hitting a 1.21 million pace. And sales in the Midwest rose 4.1 percent, rising to a 1.27 million-unit pace. Sales of single-family homes rose 5.6 percent to a 4.7 million-unit pace, while sales of condominiums and co-ops rose 1.6 percent to a 620,000 unit pace.

Source: NAR, FHMLC, FHFA, S&P Case-Shiller and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC

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