The number of single-family homes built-for-rent declined at the start of 2019. This is a very small segment of total US new home building but is the type of construction which uses the most wood, so is an excellent indicator of recent softwood lumber demand.
According to data from the US Census Bureau’s Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design, there were 5,000 single-family built-for-rent starts for 1Q 2019. This is lower than the 6,000 estimated for the start of 2018. Over the last four quarters, 42,000 such homes began construction.
This class of single-family construction excludes homes that are sold to another party for rental purposes. It only includes homes built and held for rental purposes. The single-family home portion is 35% of the total rental housing stock. From 2005 to 2015, 56% of the gains in the rental housing stock were due to increases of for-rent single-family homes.
Be ahead of these data releases … Don’t delay, this week’s softwood lumber market comment was published to the website Monday morning.
Madison’s Lumber Prices, weekly, are a good forecast indicator of US home builder’s current lumber buying activity ——> DETAILS
US Townhouse Construction: 1Q 2019
According to National Association of Home Builders’ analysis of the most recent US Census data of Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design, townhouse construction slowed during 1Q 2019 after a strong 2018 performance. Nonetheless, townhouse construction is set for further expansion given the demographics of renters entering the for-sale market, as well as ongoing land constraints and the growth of demand for walkable neighborhoods, said NAHB.
Over the course of 2018, townhouse starts totalled 120,000, 15% higher than 2017. However, townhouses, or single-family attached housing, accounted for just 21,000 starts during 1Q 2019. This was lower than the 24,000 total for 1Q 2018, but over the last four quarters townhouse construction has posted a 11% gain. Using a one-year moving average, the market share of new townhouses stands at 13% of all single-family starts.