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Category: Weekly Softwood Lumber Blog

US Rental Rates, House Values: 1Q 2019

US Rental Rates, House Values: 1Q 2019

Rental rates in the US have been rising steadily for more than 10 years. The latest data, released April 30, shows that rents for an average US apartment have risen +1.5% in the past year and more than +4% since 2010. That’s a pretty high rate-of-return, even when compared to recent stock market gains. Seemingly conflicting data however, out Thursday, says US home values are dropping. Below find analysis of this important US real estate and housing market information: US…

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US Housing Starts Rise: April 2019

US Housing Starts Rise: April 2019

According to estimates from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development and Commerce Department released Thursday, single-family and multifamily starts in the US improved in April, consistent with the recent stabilization of the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Single-family starts increased +6.2% to an 854,000 seasonally adjusted annual pace in April. Total multifamily starts increased +4.7% to a 381,000 annualized rate. U.S. homebuilding increased more than expected in April and activity in the prior month was stronger than initially thought. The…

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US Spending on Residential Improvements: Feb 2019

US Spending on Residential Improvements: Feb 2019

The most recent data, released Tuesday, from Construction Spending showed that spending on US residential improvements fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of US$173 billion in March 2019, -14.1% lower than a year ago. RA very important segment to sawmills and lumber manufacturers, residential Improvement Spending in the US has experienced weakness after reaching the peak of US$216.7 billion in April 2018. The recent downward trend in improvements spending mirrors the recent softness of NAHB’s Remodelers’ Market Index.  Private residential improvements, as defined…

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Softwood Lumber Prices Slowly Recover from Recent Lows: May 2019

Softwood Lumber Prices Slowly Recover from Recent Lows: May 2019

Some wholesaler (net FOB sawmill) standard construction framing dimension softwood lumber prices rebounded slightly last week from recent lows, while most prices remained flat from the end of April. While reasonable amounts of wood are being traded, demand could hardly be regarded as lush. Sellers, whether producers or secondary suppliers, had plenty of lumber commodity items on hand — and access to increased supply if necessary — but customers were just not coming to the table with significant buys. As…

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US Construction Employment & Construction Spending: March 2019

US Construction Employment & Construction Spending: March 2019

Total nonfarm payroll employment in the US increased by 263,000 in April, while the unemployment rate declined to 3.6%. Residential construction employment increased by 600 in April, after the increase of 11,200 jobs in March. The total construction industry (both residential and nonresidential) gained 33,000 jobs in April. Additionally, the latest monthly employment data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Establishment Survey indicates that employment in the overall construction sector increased by 33,000 in April. The number of residential…

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US House Prices, Home Sales: Feb & Mar 2019

US House Prices, Home Sales: Feb & Mar 2019

The Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, reported by S&P Dow Jones Indices, rose at a seasonally adjusted annual growth rate of 3.8% in February, following the increase of 3.2% in January. On a year-over-year basis, the Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index rose by 4% in February, down from 4.2% in January. It was the lowest annual gain since September 2012. The annual growth rate has decreased for eleven straight months, from 6.5% in March 2018 to 4.0% in February…

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US Construction Employment Rebounds: March 2019

US Construction Employment Rebounds: March 2019

Data from the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) released Tuesday indicate that construction job openings increased in March, consistent with the ongoing challenge of the availability of labor for builders, said the US National Association of Home Builders. The estimated number of job openings in the construction sector increased to 360,000, a post-Great Recession high. Moreover, this marks a significant gain over the 234,000 openings estimated in March 2018. The open position rate (job openings as a percentage of…

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Softwood Lumber Hearings, Washington, DC: Update

Softwood Lumber Hearings, Washington, DC: Update

At a hearing on Tuesday by a trade panel under Chapter 19 of the North American free-trade agreement, lawyers for the Canadian industry and federal government said U.S. lumber producers were doing just fine before the tariffs came down – and certainly did not need any protection from Canadian competition, according to Globe and Mail Wednesday. The Canadian government and lumber industry argued Tuesday that American forestry companies have not been hurt by imports from north of the border, as…

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Softwood Lumber Prices Bounce Somewhat, US Construction Spending and Employment Jump: May 2019

Softwood Lumber Prices Bounce Somewhat, US Construction Spending and Employment Jump: May 2019

Wholesaler (net FOB sawmill) prices of green Douglas fir 2x10s #2&Btr skyrocketed last week, up +$55 or +16%, to US$355 mfbm as other — more standard — North American construction framing softwood lumber prices either stayed flat or bounced moderately as buyers and sellers came to some agreement on the supply-demand balance. The very latest data, out this week, show US construction spending and especially construction employment up significantly. Latest update from producers is that recent log cost increases in…

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Canada at NAFTA to challenge U.S. International Trade Commission ruling

Canada at NAFTA to challenge U.S. International Trade Commission ruling

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-canada-to-seek-relief-from-us-duties-on-softwood-at-nafta-panel-amid/ Softwood Lumber Prices vs. US House Sales Price: 2019 Lawyers for the Canadian government will Tuesday present their oral arguments at the one-day hearing in Washington, DC,more than two years after the United States imposed new duties on Canadian softwood producers, said Globe and Mail Monday. The lawyers will be summarizing their arguments, condensing hundreds of pages of documents filed over the past 18 months under an appeal process of the North American free-trade agreement’s Chapter 19 dispute-resolution mechanism….

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