Horton Predicts Hard Times Through 2007 (BUILDER Online) D.R. Horton CEO Don Tomnitz uses strong words to describe his thoughts about what 2007 holds for the housing industry.

What Makes a Centerpiece Kitchen? (Real Estate Journal.com) The kitchen has always been the center of activity but what does it take to make it the main attraction?

Rising Subprime Mortgage Defaults Add to Unsold Homes Inventory (Bloomberg.com) Rising mortgage defaults by subprime borrowers may add more than 500,000 homes to a residential real estate market already beset by slumping prices, according to CreditSights Inc.

Housing Market Strong in the Great White North (CBC News/cbc.ca) Bank of Nova Scotia economist Adrienne Warren calls the Canadian market "the rabbit that just keeps on going and going."

Weak Housing Market Weighs on Job Growth (MSNBC) Workers in housing-related business are facing an increased risk of layoffs.

Belleview, Fla. Says 'Yes' to Impact Fee for New Home Building (OCALA.com) Following a year of hand wringing, studies and debates, the issue of whether to have an impact fee ends, with city commissioners voting 5-0 to impose the fee on new home construction.

Remdeling Market Remains Steady in Slower Housing Market (NAHB) Remodeling activity remained steady in the fourth quarter of 2006, according to the National Association of Home Builders' Remodeling Market Index (RMI).

Homes Already Designed Exempt From New Storm Codes (Tallahasse.com/Florida Capital News) Florida's home construction industry will get a four-month reprieve from changes in the state's hurricane-proof building codes, under a bill that cleared its first Senate committee this week.

Greenspan Says Bottom of Home Sales Decline Reached (Yahoo! News/Reuters) Former Fed Chair adds that the U.S. housing sector was experiencing an "inventory recession."

Big Home Builders Say Most Consumers Won't Pay for 'Green' Homes (USA Today/AP) The major home builders, who account for 80% of homebuilding activity in the nation, face a unique challenge in implementing green building on a widespread scale. Many have added energy-saving features and experimented with environmentally friendly materials, but they have not yet been able to sign on a critical mass of buyers willing to pay more for them.

Steve Zurier's Tech Blog (BUILDER Online) Lighting company Lutron is suing Leviton for allegedly infringing on at least five Lutron patents, three trademarks, and two copyrights.

Take the BUILDER Poll (BUILDER Online) When do you anticipate that the housing slump will begin to turn around?

Boyce's Blog: On Margin (BUILDER Online) Boyce Thompson, the Editorial Director of BUILDER, asks builders how they are protecting margins and improving operations.

Check out the February issue of BUILDER. (BUILDER Online)

Robb Crocker is the Senior Editor for BUILDER Online. Please email any comments, questions, suggestions and news tips to rcrocker@hanleywood.com.