US Housing Starts and Lumber Prices: Mar 2022

After dropping last month, February starts of single-family housing, the largest share of the market and construction method which uses the most wood, was 1.215 million annualized, up by +5.7% compared to January.

Building permits are generally submitted two months before the home building is begun, so the expectation is that April single-family starts will be strong.

February single-family starts are up a whopping +12% compared to one year ago when they were 1.069 million units.

The backlog of houses authorized for construction but not yet started continued to stay very high compared to historical, at 152,000 units in February 2022.

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Much-welcomed stability in pricing arrived for the week ending March 18, 2022, when the price of benchmark softwood lumber item Western Spruce-Pine-Fir 2×4 #2&Btr KD (RL) remained flat compared to the previous week at US$1,400 mfbm, said weekly forest products industry price guide newsletter Madison’s Lumber Reporter.
That week’s price is up by +$118, or +9% from one month ago when it was $1,283.