“It will create a lot of jobs, because as you know, as we sell those homes, then you have to build new homes.”

—California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on the state's $10,000 home buyer tax credit, which goes into effect May 1

$2.6 million Amount a federal judge ordered Taishan Gypsum Co. to pay seven Virginia families for damages related to faulty Chinese drywall

$1.1 million The amount the NAHB spent in the fourth quarter of 2009 lobbying Congress, the White House, and other government agencies on housing, taxes, immigration, the environment, and other issues, according to a disclosure report filed in January. This is about 49% more than what the trade association spent in the fourth quarter of 2008

PERCENT TILES: 8.2% Boost in pending home sales in February, which was 17.3% ahead of February 2009 and well above analysts' estimates of a 1% decline

2.2% Drop in new-home sales in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 308,000 units, according to the Commerce Department

5.21% Average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage during the second week of April, which was the highest rate since mid-August

BIG BUILDER ONLINE www.bigbuilderonline.com News and analysis exploring the management, finance, and operations of America's big builders, with timely coverage of the events and decisions that affect the housing industry.

WALL STREET AND MAINE: After a string of bad housing-related data at the beginning of the year, Bill Gloede examines the better metrics of late, starting with February's pending home sales.

THE EDITOR'S DESK: To help stop-gap a falloff in demand after the federal home buyer tax credit's expiration, Sarah Yaussi predicts builders will be hauling out big-time buyer incentives.