While residential construction slowed late in 2014, residential repair and remodeling (R&R), the largest lumber market by volume, picked up the slack, said the WWPA. R&R construction is expected to consume approximately 17.41 billion bd. ft. of U.S. production in 2014, and 2015 demand is forecast to increase to 17.93 billion bd. ft.
Lumber demand for new residential construction is forecast to increase from an estimated 10.98 billion bd. ft. in 2014 to 13.61 billion bd. ft. in 2015. Stable interest rates, an improving jobs picture, and continued slow economic growth will contribute to modest but sustainable gains in lumber demand for new home construction in 2015.
Responding to increased demand, 2014 U.S. lumber production increased an estimated 4% to 41.34 billion bd. ft., compared to 39.5 billion bd. ft. in 2013, according to WWPA.
Lumber production in the West is expected to climb from 13.49 billion bd. ft. in 2013 to 14.1 billion bd. ft. for 2014.
For 2015, WWPA predicts lumber demand will rise 8% to 44.87 billion bd. ft.