Louisiana-Pacific and its acquisition target Ainsworth Lumber have been asked by federal officials for more information about their planned deal. The Department of Justice is looking into the antitrust aspects of the $1.1 billion transaction, which is expected to close early next year.
Real estate online listings service Zillow says Nashville-area homes on its site sold in an average 85 days in September. That's an improvement of 26 days from a year earlier. That's in line with the national numbers, which were 86 this year and 116 in 2012. Almost all the region's largest counties posted similar numbers, although Wilson is a definitely outlier.
Bill McConnell at TheStreet.com writes about the apparent greater likelihood that Louisiana-Pacific will be asked by the Federal Trade Commission to divest some of the manufacturing capacity it will have after it buys Canadian rival Ainsworth. It will likely come down to how the FTC's staff looks at the proposed combination's effects on Western Canadian production.
A key factor in the antitrust review is how broadly the regulators view the affected market. A broader view that geographically includes all of North America and includes both plywood and oriented strandboard (OSB) would make an extended review unlikely. If the DOJ limits the market to a smaller geographic area like the U.S. Pacific Northwest and considers the merger's impact only on OSB, then the likelihood of a long review and divestitures rises substantially.
SEE ALSO: LP buying Canadian competitor for $1.1B
The average monthly rent for an apartment within the Nashville market was $914 compared to a first-quarter mark of $864, an increase of 5.8 percent, according to statistics the Nashville office of Colliers International released today.
Relatedly, the third-quarter occupancy rate for Nashville-area multifamily buildings was 96 percent, a 0.2 percent increase from the second quarter, Colliers stats show. Researchers at MPF Research and Real Data expect the occupancy rate to be about 96.7 percent at year’s end but to dip back to 95.2 percent by next fall, after new projects come to market. Those developments also are expected to restrain further rent increases.
Nashville’s occupancy rate is now at its highest level since the third quarter of 2007 and above the Southern region’s average of 94.5 percent, according to MPF Research's preliminary data.
Housing research firm CoreLogic says the health of the Nashville area's housing market continued to improve in August, with both delinquent mortgages and foreclosures ticking down at the pace we've seen so far in 2013. The green line in the chart below shows the 90-day delinquency rate falling to 3.74 percent, while the foreclosure rate dipped to 0.85 percent. The 90-day number is down a full percentage point from August 2012 while the foreclosure rate has decreased 60 basis points in the past year.
And here's the latest map showing how the region's ZIP codes are faring.
Amid the mostly positive housing market headlines these days, it's worth remembering that a sizeable number of homeowners are still slogging their way back toward financial health. According to CoreLogic, 3.84 percent of Nashville-area home loans were delinquent by 90 days or more in July while the area's foreclosure rate was 0.93 percent. We haven't seen both of those numbers that low since early 2009. Here's how they compare to the previous four years' July:
2012 — 4.87 percent and 1.54 percent
2011 — 5.30 percent and 1.82 percent
2010 — 5.47 percent and 1.27 percent
2009 — 4.56 percent and 1.05 percent
The median Nashville-area home price rose by 6.6 percent in the past year, according to research firm Zillow.com. That was right in line with the national average and up more than 3 percentage points from June's number. But the great times aren't expected to last: Over the next year, the median price in Middle Tennessee is expected to climb less than 1 percent while the country as a whole is forecast to put up a 5.2 percent gain. Check out Zillow's full local data set here.
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