US housing starts for June 2021 jumped +6.3% compared to May, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.643 million. This is the highest in three months amid strong demand from buyers, elevated materials costs, and a shortage of qualified workers.
US Housing Total and 1-Unit Starts June & Benchmark Softwood Lumber Prices July: 2021
For June 2021, total residential starts in the US increased by +49% from the same month one year ago, when it was 840,000. After spectacular increases so far this year, permits for future homebuilding in June were up by +35%, to a rate of fell 5.1% to a rate of 1.6 million units, compared to June 2020 when it was 891,000.
June starts of single-family housing, the largest share of the market and construction method which uses the most wood, was 1.16 million annualized, a +23% improvement compared to June 2020, when it was 891,000. Slowing down from the previous month but improving markedly over one-year-ago, single-family permits were at 1.1 million units, a +32% improvement compared to June 2020 when it was 840,000 units.
Shrewd investors know that construction framing softwood lumber prices are a good leading indicator for US housing activity, including home building and home sales. Don’t miss out, get lumber price data updates directly to your desktop every Friday morning.
As for the lumber market, following a brief lull at a level US$760 mfbm for two weeks, in the week ending July 16, 2021 the wholesaler price of benchmark softwood lumber commodity item Western S-P-F KD 2×4 #2&Btr dropped significantly.
That week’s price of US$555 mfbm is down by -$205, or -27%, from the previous week, and is down by -$651, or -54%, from one month ago when it was $1,206.
When compared to the same week last year, when it was $554, that week’s price is up by +$1, or (0%).
Benchmark Softwood Lumber Commodity Western Spruce-Pine-Fir Price: July 2021
Compared to the price two years ago, when it was US$368 mfbm, for the week ending July 16, 2021, the price of Western S-P-F KD 2×4 was up by +$187, or +51%.
STAY AHEAD of US housing price data by getting access to softwood lumber prices. Released every Friday for that week, since 1952 Madison’s Lumber Prices is used by the forest products industry as a price guide for North American construction framing dimension softwood lumber. These are, of course, the inputs into US and Canadian home building materials.
Madison’s Lumber Prices, weekly, are a good forecast indicator of US home builder’s current lumber buying activity ——> DETAILS
US Housing 1-Unit Starts & Permits June and Benchmark Softwood Lumber Prices July: 2021
The latest data from the Western Wood Products Association shows that Canadian and US softwood lumber production and sawmill capacity utilization rates for April continued gains seen in March.
US sawmill production as a per cent of practical capacity for the first four months of this year improved to 88%, compared to the same time in 2020 when it was 83%, said the Western Wood Products Association’s monthly Lumber Track.
Bouncing back closer to normal historical levels, Canadian sawmill production as a per cent of practical capacity rose yet more in January to April 2021, to 84% compared to one year ago when it was a tragic 72%.