-- Casual Living, 2/1/2008 12:00:00 AM
With romantic ambiance in the air and Valentine's Day right around the corner, fireplaces and hearth products provide an atmosphere many consumers desire. According to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association, nearly half of all U.S. homes have at least one fireplace or freestanding stove.
With hearth fast becoming a staple of American homes, there's no wonder new home buyers rank hearth among the top three features desired in their new home, that's after outdoor porches and upgraded kitchens, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
So whether celebrating Valentine's Day or simply seeking warmth on a chilly day, hearth and hearth products are something that consumers can warm up to in these winter months.
|r = revised; p = preliminary
Covers most short- and intermediate-term credit extended to individuals, excluding loans secured by real estate.
Nonrevolving credit includes automobile loans and all other loans not included in revolving credit, such as loans for mobile homes, education, boats, trailers or vacations. These loans may be secured or unsecured.
Source: Federal Reserve
|November '07 numbers are preliminary
Source: Bureau of the Census and National Assn. of Realtors
|Change from Nov. '06||-24.6%||-11.7%||-18.2%||-28.0%||-26.2%|
|Change from Nov. '06||-24.2%||-16.3%||-11.0%||-27.4%||-28.3%|
|New home sales|
|Change from Nov. '06||-34.4%||-28.1%||-38.7%||-34.3%||-33.8%|
|Existing home sales|
|Change from Nov. '06||-20.0%||-19.4%||-16.9%||-19.4%||-25.0%|
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