Renewed Weakness Means Pain for Related Sectors That Had Sniffed a Rebound

The fresh downturn in housing is weighing on an economy already bruised by financial turmoil and battered confidence. From lumber yards to moving companies, the renewed weakness in the housing market is hurting."March was a great month—we got excited about the rest of the year," said Michael Dunn, president of Dunn Lumber Co., which runs 12 stores in the Seattle area. "April was flat, May was down and so was June. Now, nothing is happening."Mr. Dunn said that the flurry of home buying before the expiration of federal home-buying tax credits in late April allowed many area builders to sell some of their inventory of finished homes and pick up the pace on completing other houses. He also saw more business from contractors repairing homes for sale. But the drop-off since then has sapped his hopes that sales during the typically busier warmer months can show any improvement over a moribund 2009.
By Justin Lahart, July 21, 2010 WSJ

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07/21/10 wsj_Housing Woes Reverberate