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US Home Values 1Q 2019: Record-Highs

US Home Values 1Q 2019: Record-Highs

The value of all US owner-occupied homes increased to a record US$26.1 trillion in 1Q 2019, according to a Federal Reserve report  known as the Flow of Funds, released Thursday. That was a gain of +4.3% from a year earlier, the slowest annualized increase since 2012. The collective value of US homes is now +15% higher than the bubble peak reached in 2006. Once that bubble popped, it was a decade before values recovered to the same level. Today, the national average…

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CoreLogic US Homeowner Equity Insights: 1Q 2019

CoreLogic US Homeowner Equity Insights: 1Q 2019

According to CoreLogic’s US Home Equity Report, released Monday, only about 4.1% of homeowners with mortgaged properties, which represent about 63% of all US homes, were underwater as of the end of 1Q 2019. In 1Q 2019, the total number of US mortgaged residential properties with negative equity decreased -1% from 4Q 2018 to 2.2 million homes, or 4.1% of all mortgaged properties. On a year-over-year basis, negative equity fell -11% from 2.5 million homes, or 4.7% of all mortgaged properties,…

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US Construction Job Openings Rise in April

US Construction Job Openings Rise in April

Data from the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) indicate that US construction job openings increased in April, consistent with the ongoing challenge of the availability of labor for builders. The estimated number of job openings in the construction sector increased to 404,000, a post-Great Recession high. Moreover, this marks a significant gain over the 258,000 openings estimated in April 2018. The open position rate (job openings as a percentage of total employment plus current job openings) increased to 5.1%…

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US Building Materials Prices Flat as Gypsum, Lumber Slow Overall Growth

US Building Materials Prices Flat as Gypsum, Lumber Slow Overall Growth

Prices paid for goods used in residential construction did not change in May (not seasonally adjusted) according to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. As a result, building materials prices have grown much more slowly in 2019 (+3.1%) than they did over the same period in 2018, during which they increased 4.7%. Recent expansions of mill capacity have helped push prices lower. For example, North American softwood lumber production capacity increased by one billion…

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Softwood Lumber Supply-and-Demand Corrects On Further Sawmill Curtailments

Softwood Lumber Supply-and-Demand Corrects On Further Sawmill Curtailments

The latest announcement of major sawmill curtailments Monday, this time with Canfor making production cuts at all its facilities, caused a complete reversal of lumber futures prices on the Chicago Merchantile Exchange. It will be very interesting to see what happens with cash prices this week. Madison’s Lumber Reporter print is Friday mornings; this week prices are likely to at least stop falling if not to actually increase. The latest North America sawmill capacity utilization rates, for March, released by…

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North America Softwood Lumber Production, Sawmill Capacity Utilization, WWPA: March 2019

North America Softwood Lumber Production, Sawmill Capacity Utilization, WWPA: March 2019

The latest issue of the Western Wood Products Association’s monthly Lumber Track, for January-March 2019, shows a +0.4% increase in US softwood lumber production volume, to 8,634 mmfbm. January – March softwood lumber production in Canada continued dropping by -8.6%, to 6,382 mmfbm, compared to the first three months of 2018 when it was 6,985 mmfbm. In British Columbia, lumber production continued significant reductions begun around 2017, in Jan – March plunging another -14.7 per cent, to 2,684 mmfbm, from…

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US FHFA House Price Index History vs Softwood Lumber Prices: 2007 – March 2019

US FHFA House Price Index History vs Softwood Lumber Prices: 2007 – March 2019

The US Home Price Index, released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of +1.3% in March, following the +5.3% increase in February. On a year-over-year basis, the FHFA Home Price NSA Index rose by +5% in March. It was the lowest annual growth rate since January 2015, confirming the slowdown in home price appreciation. Home price appreciation continued to slow in March. See Full Details Here: https://madisonsreport.com/2019/05/29/us-house-prices-march-2019/ Softwood Lumber Prices as Indicator of US…

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Softwood Lumber Prices Slide Downward as More Sawmill Closures are Announced

Softwood Lumber Prices Slide Downward as More Sawmill Closures are Announced

Confusion reigned only more last week in the North America construction framing dimension softwood lumber market as demand was very soft for what is normally the big home building season in the US. This week major producers announced further permanent closures and curtailments for British Columbia sawmills; due both to high log costs while lumber prices are low and to lack of future timber supply as a result of the mountain pine beetle infestation and the 2017 wildfires. A wildly…

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US Spending on Residential Improvements: March 2019

US Spending on Residential Improvements: March 2019

According to the US National Association of Home Builders, Americans spend more than US$200 billion on home improvements each year. The most recent data from Construction Spending showed that spending on residential improvements fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of US$173 billion in March 2019, down by -3.1% over February estimate, and was -14.1% lower than a year ago, said the NAHB Eye on Housing blog May 14. Residential Improvement Spending has experienced weakness after reaching the peak of US$216.7 billion in April…

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Spot Lumber Prices … a New Low?

Spot Lumber Prices … a New Low?

An interesting question among North American construction framing dimension softwood lumber wholesalers and traders Friday: “Spot #lumber prices lowest in how many years?” –– veteran softwood lumber trader It might be a difficult time right now for producers and sellers of Canadian and US softwood lumber, but it’s nothing compared to 2009 and certainly not compared to 1982. Or, put another way: More on this important subject coming soon!