In Brief: Apr. 9, 2001

HOME SWEET HOME

February's existing home sales--a hearty 5.18 million annualized--show an industry that, thankfully, doesn't know when to quit; odd, since housing often leads the downhill charge into recession. Construction giants such as Centex and KB Home continue to expand, thanks to consolidation, low mortgage rates and productivity gains. An order backlog means no housing glut this round: spec building has been a no-no since the S&L blowout, and many towns, already sprawling, are now persnickety about development.

The median price of a home is now $138,800, which is super if you want a median home and live in a...

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