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Softwood Lumber Prices Settle Further, US February Construction Spending Up

Softwood Lumber Prices Settle Further, US February Construction Spending Up

Continued soft demand and unenthusiastic customers had North America construction framing softwood lumber prices lower last week, as operators can only wait and see if the usual spring lumber selling will materialize. Monday’s data release of improved US construction spending for February and recent data of strong US home sales and house prices has most wood suppliers thinking there is still a good buying season approaching for spring 2019. Be ahead of these data releases! Don’t delay, this week’s softwood…

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US Construction Spending: February 2019

US Construction Spending: February 2019

US construction spending increased for a third straight month in February, boosted by gains in both private and public construction projects. Construction spending during February 2019, released Monday by the US Census Bureau, was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of US$1,320 billion, +1% above the revised January estimate of US$1,307 billion and a nine-month high after an upwardly revised +2.5% surge in January. Construction spending increased +1.1% on a year-on-year basis in February. Be ahead of these data…

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US New Home Sales: February 2019

US New Home Sales: February 2019

Contracts for new, single-family home sales in the US increased almost +5% to a 667,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate according to estimates from the joint release of HUD and the US Census Bureau Friday. This gain came despite an upward revision for the January data. However, the previously reported December data was revised down significantly to a 588,000 rate. The months’ supply number improved to 6.1, which indicates the market is stabilizing after the fall off in sales last autumn…

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US Pending Home Sales: February 2019

US Pending Home Sales: February 2019

The US Pending Home Sales Index, reported Thursday by the National Association of Realtors, is a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts. The PHSI declined -1% from 102.9 in January to 101.9 in February, and was -4.9% below the level one year ago, marking the fourteenth straight month of declines on an annualized basis. 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…

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US House Prices and Softwood Lumber Prices: January 2019

US House Prices and Softwood Lumber Prices: January 2019

The Case-Shiller US National Home Price Index, reported by S&P Dow Jones Indices Tuesday, rose at a seasonally adjusted annual growth rate of +2.8% in January 2019, after rising +2.5% in December. On a year-over-year basis, the Case-Shiller US National Home Price Index rose by +4.3% in January, down from a +4.6% increase in December. It was the lowest annual gain since February 2015. Annual growth rate has decreased for ten straight months, from +6.5% in March 2018 to +4.3%…

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US Housing Starts and Softwood Lumber Prices: February 2019

US Housing Starts and Softwood Lumber Prices: February 2019

Total US housing starts posted an -8.7% decrease in February, to 1.162 million units, compared to an upwardly revised January estimate of 1.273 million units, according to the joint data release Tuesday from the US Census Bureau and HUD. Relative to February 2018, total starts are -9.9% below the annual pace of 1.29 million units.The rate of single-family starts, which are built entirely of lumber products, posted a monthly decline in February, decreasing -17% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate…

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Pent-Up Demand, Transportation Woes Keep Softwood Lumber Inventories Stocked

Pent-Up Demand, Transportation Woes Keep Softwood Lumber Inventories Stocked

Most lumber talk was about the fabulous Montreal Wood Convention last week, a great event which draws sawmill industry folks together every year. Players there reported well-stocked inventories but a lag in production because deliveries to many parts of the US were stymied. Severe flooding has taken over large swaths of the midwest and the northeast. Rail lines continue flooded and bridges are washed out all over the midwest, so important transportation hubs like Memphis, TN, and Chicago, IL, are…

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US Home Builders’ Profit Margins: 2017

US Home Builders’ Profit Margins: 2017

Writes the US National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Friday, typically, one of the best-kept secrets in a private company is the share of total revenue that stays in the company after paying all operating costs and expenses – also known as net profit margin. NAHB periodically conducts the Builders’ Cost of Doing Business Study – a nationwide survey of single-family home building companies designed to produce profitability benchmarks for the industry. Read our previous release on this subject: US…

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US Existing Home Sales: February 2019

US Existing Home Sales: February 2019

Important data for North America softwood lumber manufacturers is out Friday; US existing home sales for February 2019. After three consecutive months of decline, existing home sales in the US, released by the National Association of Realtors, rebounded strongly in February. This is the largest monthly gain since December 2015. Total existing home sales in the US rose +12% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.51 million in February, the highest level in the past eleven months. On a…

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US Home Builder Challenges: 2019 Survey

US Home Builder Challenges: 2019 Survey

Building material prices topped the list of problems builders in the United States faced in 2018, but cost and availability of labour is expected to return to the number one spot in 2019, according to special questions on the January survey for the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. The survey results, released Monday, showed that material prices were a significant issue for 87% of builders last year. In 2019, however, “only” 69% of the builders expect them to continue being a…

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