US Housing Starts and Lumber Prices: Feb 2022

January starts of single-family housing, the largest share of the market and construction method which uses the most wood, continued the decreases of December 2021 when it was to 1.182 million, down by another -5.6% to 1.116 million annualized.
January 2022 single-family permits, however, jumped by +6.8% compared to one year ago, when it was 1.128 million units.

Building permits are generally submitted two months before the home building is begun, so this is an indication of good building activity looming in March.

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After a big pop the previous week, for the week ending February 25, 2022 the price of benchmark softwood lumber item Western Spruce-Pine-Fir 2×4 #2&Btr KD (RL) was US$1,350 mfbm. This is up by +$20, or +2%, from the previous week when it was $1,330, said forest products industry price guide newsletter Madison’s Lumber Reporter.

That week’s softwood lumber price is up by +$173, or +15% from one month ago when it was $1,178.