Softwood lumber prices are a good forward indicator of US home buying activity and house prices.
Lumber prices are published every week for that week; housing data comes out monthly with a 2 to 3 month lag. — Madison’s Lumber Prices
In July, national home prices in the US continued to grow at the same pace as in June. The US National Home Price Index, reported by S&P Dow Jones Indices rose at a seasonally adjusted annual growth rate of +1.7% in July, unchanged from the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, the Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index posted a +3.2% annual gain in July, the lowest annual gain since September 2012. After fifteen straight months’ decreases, the annual growth rate remained unchanged in July.
Meanwhile, the Home Price Index, released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.7% in July, following a 2.5% increase in June.
On a year-over-year basis, the FHFA Home Price NSA Index rose by 5% in July, after an increase of 4.9% in June.