The first three quarters of 2009 seemed rocky, at best. Recent news from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) offered our industry a glimmer of hope - new home sales rose 11% in June. However, and you knew this was coming, there is a caveat:

“The big gain in home sales last month was reflected in three out of four regions and helped shrink the inventory of new homes for sale to its lowest level in years,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Even so, the pace of home sales in June 2009 was still more than 21 percent off the pace of sales in the same month last year, so we still have quite a way to go. The concern now is that complicating factors – particularly job losses, appraisal issues that are torpedoing more than a quarter of new-home sales, and the impending expiration of the first-time buyer tax credit – threaten to stifle the positive momentum.” (Source: NAHB, July 27, 2009)

Tim Fausch, BNP Media’s Publishing Director for the Architectural, Engineering and Construction Division (that’s us!) recently posted a humorous take on the various opinions pundits seem to be readily handing out, “Fortune Cookies Predict End to Recession, Housing Downturn.” You can read this and other blog entries on TILE’s website (www.tilemagonline.com).

Getting back to presenting the economy in a positive light, tile industry members will soon descend upon Bologna, Italy, for Cersaie’s 2009 Int’l Exhibition of Ceramic Tile & Bathroom Furnishings. This year’s edition, themed “Building, Dwelling, Thinking,” takes place Sept. 29 to Oct. 3 and promises notable speakers, including the keynote address by award-winning architect Renzo Piano. More than 90,000 visitors are expected to attend the five-day show. Of course, you won’t miss a beat with our on-site show coverage. Check our Web site, Facebook and Twitter pages daily!

Lastly, I would like to thank those who support Social Media and everything it encompasses. Never have I been so in-touch with designers, architects, installers, manufacturers and retailers. With so much information available, it’s hard to miss the mark in providing up-to-date, features and news items. Again, thank you for your support. We won’t disappoint you!