News Releases

Stock volatility could further weaken housing demand

CNBC

Consumer confidence in housing has been on the rise all year, thanks to increasing home values and a strengthening job market. That confidence, however, may be taking a hard hit from swings in the U.S. stock market, volatility in overseas economies and uncertainty over interest rates.

"Between Greek default, war, plummeting oil prices and most recently fears of Chinese slowdown, it's been a volatile summer. Like swimming with a bully in the pool, it seems like every time the market comes up for air, something comes along and pushes it right back down again," said Zillow's chief economist, Svenja Gudell.

Higher home prices are taking their toll on potential buyers. Consumer demand for housing fell for the fourth straight month, according to Redfin, a real estate brokerage. Its monthly demand index dropped 5 percent in July from June, but is still 9 percent higher than one year ago. http://goo.gl/ODWSkz  


8/28/2015 4:22:08 PM


How does California choose between a water reliability crisis and a housing affordability crisis?

 

 

Builder Online

 

A four-year long drought parches the land. Mother Nature pits farmer against farmer, money against those without it, and power against the dispossessed. That's, of course, wildly over-simplistic. The worsening crisis, without doubt, has surfaced untold cases of human nobility, of resilience, of unhesitant generosity, one person to another, and has stirred that most democratic of processes, chaotic political debate, a valiant lurch toward a "right solution" when many divergent interests seek it.

 

In San Diego next week, as part of the Pacific Coast Builders Conference, California Building Industry Association ceo and president Dave Cogdill will host an afternoon "Water Forum," which is likely to be one of the more animated PCBC sessions. It takes place on Wednesday, June 24, in Ballroom 20D, at the San Diego Convention Center. Our friends, Jacob Atalla, Vice President, Sustainability Initiatives at KB Home, and Don Hofer, Vice President of Community and Land Development at Shea Homes, will address "Delivering Solutions in Real Time: Innovations in Water-Efficient Landscaping and Water-Use," as part of the two-and-a-half hour conversation. http://goo.gl/LlAQq1


6/19/2015 3:45:30 PM


Benchmarking Report Available

 

 

 

WOOD MARKETS  7th Edition 

Global Timber / Sawmill / Lumber Cost Benchmarking Report

 

Features Costs & Revenues:
2014 annual & 2015/Q1

 

Special subscription prices available  

SAVE $1,000+ on this benchmarking report - but only until June 30th, 2015. Normal subscription prices apply after this date.

 

Four reasons why you should consider a subscription to our newest edition of this strategic report:

 

1. Special, exclusive rates if your order and payment is received by June 30th; regular prices are in effect starting in July.

 

ORDER NOW

 

2. Market conditions, as well as timber and log prices, continue to gyrate (Q1/2015 is particularly volatile in terms of prices and currencies!), with some regions seeing short-term declines, while other areas are facing rising log costs against lower lumber prices. It continues to be important to understand the differences between competing regions and incorporate this analysis into your business planning and operational strategies! From our preliminary cost and research information, we already know which regions have the lowest costs and/or greatest margin potential for adding incremental lumber capacity and which regions should be slower to start up in both North America and Europe (we also know there are many reasons why capacity start-ups or curtailments do not happen in any logical manner). For these reasons alone, you should consider a subscription renewal.

 

3. We are also offering a special purchasing opportunity for those who only need specific geographical regions or continents. You may order the report for one of three regions (this is outlined in the brochure on the last page) at an even lower price:

  • North America only
  • Europe/Russia only
  • Southern Hemisphere/China only

4. From the benchmarking results, it will also be easy to see how trade flows can occur, such as which European regions will be the most competitive in selling into the U.S. east coast market as prices move higher. Or how competitive Russian lumber flows are with China. It continues to be important to understand the competiveness between regions and the potential margins offered by export markets (also China, Middle East, North Africa, Japan, etc.). The costs and revenues in the benchmarking report can indicate where trade in global lumber can occur as log and lumber prices change. This report will assist strategic planners and marketing managers to better understand what will be a key question in 2015 and 2016: at what relative price points will the U.S. market see increases in European lumber and which countries are best positioned or most competitive to sell to the U.S. market?

 

Scheduled for release in early August 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

If you have any advance questions on the contents or the format of the 2015 Benchmarking Report itself, please feel to contact Russ Taylor at retaylor@woodmarkets.com or +1-604-801-5996. 

 

 

 

Full brochure and pricing information MailFilterGateway has detected a possible fraud attempt from "r20.rs6.net" claiming to be https://www.woodmarkets.com/publication/global-cost-benchmarking/benchmarking-report-2014/

 


6/17/2015 6:00:14 PM


Builders remain careful

 NAHB

  

Builders' confidence hesitated slightly in May as the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index dropped two points to 54. The April-May average remains at the same level as the first quarter average suggesting nothing has changed significantly for the first five months of 2015. Builders continue to express concern that consumers remain tentative on their judgement of present and future economic conditions. Consumers demand prices below costs and are concerned about selling their existing home. First-time buyers still constitute about half their normal share of new home purchases.

 


On the more positive side, the component measuring future demand rose one point to 64, the highest in 2015 as builders do continue to see a better future. Low rates and pent up demand support the attitude. Inventories of new homes have risen since the bottom in mid-2012 and stand at their highest level since spring 2010. The index component measuring current sales dropped two point to 59 but remained well above the tipping point of 50.

http://goo.gl/3YQNvn


5/20/2015 1:41:58 PM


FNC: Residential property values increased 4.6% year-over-year in March

 

Calculated Risk 

Posted: 5/11/2015 1:31:00 PM

In addition to Case-Shiller, and CoreLogic, I'm also watching the FNC, Zillow and several other house price indexes.

FNC released their March 2015 index data today.  FNC reported that their Residential Price Index? (RPI) indicates that U.S. residential property values increased 0.9% from February to March (Composite 100 index, not seasonally adjusted). 

The 10 city MSA increased 0.6% in March, and the 20-MSA and 30-MSA RPIs both increased by about 0.9% in March. These indexes are not seasonally adjusted (NSA), and are for non-distressed home sales (excluding foreclosure auction sales, REO sales, and short sales).

Notes: In addition to the composite indexes, FNC presents price indexes for 30 MSAs. FNC also provides seasonally adjusted data.

The year-over-year (YoY) change was slightly higher in March than in February, with the 100-MSA composite up 4.6% compared to March 2014. For FNC, the YoY increase had been slowing since peaking in March at 9.0%, but had held steady for the last few months.

The index is still down 18.6% from the peak in 2006 (not inflation adjusted).

Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the year-over-year change based on the FNC index (four composites) through March 2015. The FNC indexes are hedonic price indexes using a blend of sold homes and real-time appraisals.

Most of the other indexes are also showing the year-over-year change mostly steady at around 5% for the last several months.

Note: The March Case-Shiller index will be released on Tuesday, May 26th.Web Bug from http:http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/CalculatedRisk/~4/155L4tvvRy8

 


5/11/2015 12:22:38 PM


Sluggish housing starts may signal fewer home sales

Los Angeles Times

 

Home builders are taking it slow this spring, according to new figures on housing construction.
 
Permits for new construction fell 5.7% in March compared to last month, the Commerce Department reported. Housing starts -- when construction actually begins -- climbed 2% off last month's sharp decline, but came in well below analyst expectations.
 
The often-volatile numbers were dragged down by a decline in multifamily construction, a sign that the apartment building boom of the last couple of years may be cooling off. Starts for buildings with five or more units fell 7.1% from February, while permits, a sign of construction to come, were down 16%.
http://goo.gl/iNazx3


4/17/2015 6:13:42 PM


Califormia's housing costs hurt economy, increase poverty, report finds

  

Wall Street Journal

 

California’s high housing costs are crimping economic productivity, increasing poverty rates, lowering homeownership, increasing crowding and lengthening commute times, a new state report says.
 
California has some of the most expensive housing markets in the U.S.—a result of the slow pace of development in high-demand coastal cities. The average home price in California, $440,000, is about 2½ times the national average, while California’s average monthly rent, $1,240, is about 50% higher than the average U.S. rent, according to a report released Tuesday by the state legislature’s independent analyst.   
 http://goo.gl/i2ROUZ

 


3/20/2015 1:05:41 PM


2015 Random Lengths Big Book, Yearbook available

The latest editions of Big Book and Yearbook are now available. The Big Book is the largest directory of the North American softwood industry. The Yearbook is the most in depth source of historical market information. Both are being published by Random Lengths Publications, Inc. For more information on both books, as well as purchasing information, Click Here


2/19/2015 5:52:39 PM


Housing market starts 2015 on several weak notes


 

Housing Wire

 

Despite optimism in most forecasts, it looks like 2015 is off to a faltering start for the housing industry.
 
January was a bad month for housing starts, completions and permits, reflecting perhaps the reason for homebuilder confidence to likewise be down for February.
 
Single-family authorizations in January were at a rate of 654,000; this is 3.1% below the revised December figure of 675,000.
 
Single-family housing starts in January were at a rate of 678,000; this is 6.7% below the revised December figure of 727,000.

 

http://goo.gl/LAzjKn

 


2/19/2015 12:32:46 PM


Strong U.S. housing data offsets sharp fall in factory orders

 

 

Economy Watch

 

A new report by CoreLogic shows that home prices rose 5% on a year-over-year basis in December 2014, with only three states—Maryland, Vermont, and Connecticut—seeing price declines. At the same time, Colorado, Texas, and New York were seeing the highest price gains.
 
While the gains are still strong, CoreLogic noted a moderation of price growth in its report, which it identifies as a positive sign of a more sustainable housing market, with less speculative construction and flipping.
 
In most states, price growth moderated on a year-over-year basis in 2014, with the hardest hit states during the global financial crisis seeing a sharp slowdown in price growth.

 

http://goo.gl/ukJG8N

 


2/5/2015 1:33:01 PM


US economy grows incredible 5%

 

CNN Money

 

Evidence is mounting that the U.S. economy is kicking into high gear.

Gross domestic product soared 5% on an annual basis in the third quarter, the government said on Tuesday.

To put that in perspective, it's the strongest quarter of growth since 2003.

 

http://goo.gl/B60z74

 


12/29/2014 12:52:33 PM


Happy Holidays from MMPA

The MMPA wishes you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! The MMPA office will be closed for the holidays as follows:

Christmas  -  December 25 - 26

New Year's Day  -  January 1

We look forward to seeing you in 2015 during MMPA's 52nd Annual Business Meeting at The Lodge as Sonoma from April 19-23.


12/23/2014 1:02:59 PM


Sierra Pacific President elected AWC's 2015 chairman

 

 

 

LEESBURG, VA. - The American Wood Council (AWC) today announced the election of Sierra Pacific President George Emmerson as the new AWC chairman for a one-year term.
 
Tom Corrick, executive vice president of Boise Cascade Wood Products, was elected the First Vice-Chairman and Andrew Miller, CEO of Stimson Lumber, was elected as the Second Vice-Chairman. Fritz Mason, vice president and general manager of lumber for Georgia-Pacific, will serve as the immediate past chairman.
 
President and CEO of Anthony Forest Products Aubra Anthony was re-elected to serve another two-year term.
 
Roseburg Forest Products President and CEO Allyn Ford was confirmed as a new member of the AWC board.
 
“Fritz has been a tireless leader for the last two years. His commitment to the organization has been unsurpassed and he’s been the central force in implementing AWC’s talent management plan, which has improved our overall operational performance,” said AWC President & CEO Robert Glowinski. “Moving to next year, I look forward to working with George as AWC continues to grow to serve wood products manufacturers.”
 
The full AWC board of directors includes:

 

  • Chairman George Emmerson, Sierra Pacific;
  • First Vice-Chairman Tom Corrick, Boise Cascade;
  • Second Vice-Chairman Andrew Miller, Stimson Lumber;
  • Immediate Past Chairman Fritz Mason, Georgia-Pacific;
  • and, Aubra Anthony, Anthony Forest Products; Marc Brinkmeyer, Idaho Forest Group; Mike Dawson, Norbord, Inc.; Ray Dillon, Deltic Timber; Allyn Ford, Roseburg Forest Products; Michael Giroux, Canadian Wood Council; Brian Luoma, Louisiana Pacific; Joe Patton, Westervelt; Jim Rabe, Masonite; Cathy Slater, Weyerhaeuser Company; and Danny White, T.R. Miller Mill Company. 

 

For more information about AWC, visit www.awc.org or follow the association on Twitter at @woodcouncil.
 

 


12/8/2014 12:21:51 PM


SierraPine and Arauco Announce Withdrawal of HSR Filing Related to Asset Purchase Agreement

October 1, 2014

 

Roseville, CA — SierraPine and Arauco North America announce today the withdrawal of their Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvement Act filing submitted in relation to the previously announced Asset Purchase Agreement dated January 13, 2014. Per the agreement, Arauco would have acquired certain SierraPine assets including the Medford, OR Springfield, OR, and Martell, CA composite panel plants. The companies determined that the necessary regulatory approvals, including clearance from the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, cannot be obtained through any route other than protracted and costly litigation.

"SierraPine remains well positioned with the forecasted growth in housing starts, repair and remodeling, and strong distribution channels. We are an industry leader, have a solid balance sheet, and will continue to meet customer needs and pursue opportunities to improve our business," said SierraPine Jeff Johnson.

The partners of SierraPine will continue to focus their engergies to support the SierraPine team in producing quality products for their customers. 


10/1/2014 12:23:28 PM


US housing recovery appears to be back on track

 

 
 
 

 

A fourth straight monthly increase in sales of existing homes provided the latest evidence Thursday that the U.S. housing market is rebounding from a weak start to the year.

Housing has been a drag on an otherwise strengthening economy, in part because a harsh winter delayed many sales. But Americans are stepping up purchases as more homes have been put up for sale. And low mortgage rates and moderating price gains have made homes more affordable.

"The momentum is in the right direction," said Andrew Labelle, an economist at TD Bank who noted that the past four months have marked the fastest four-month sales gain since 2011. "Sustained jobs gains, as well as the fall in mortgage rates since the beginning of the year, appear to have unleashed at least some pent-up demand."

Sales of existing homes rose 2.4 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.15 million, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. That was the highest annual rate since September of last year.

The increase follows other encouraging signs that the housing market is improving. The pace of home construction starts surged 15.7 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.1 million homes, the government said this week. Applications for building permits, a gauge of future activity, also strengthened last month.

And a survey of homebuilders released Monday showed that they were more confident about future sales.

The encouraging readings contrast with reports earlier this year, when weak sales and limited building led economists to characterize housing as a faltering piece of the economic recovery. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer had pointed to housing as an economic weak spot.

Economists noted that housing still hasn't fully recovered from its slowdown earlier this year. The annual sales pace remains 4.3 percent below last July's rate. And construction has merely returned to its pace in October; it has yet to exceed it.

Yet economists say they're encouraged by signs that the latest sales gains are sustainable.

Stephanie Karol, an economist at IHS Global Insight, said a "virtuous cycle" is emerging: More homeowners are listing their properties for sale. A greater supply of homes then encourages more potential buyers to take the plunge. And that, in turn, helps sustain modest price gains, which lead more people to sell.

"This is exactly the sort of pattern we want to see," Karol said.

The number of homes for sale rose 3.5 percent in July from June to 2.37 million, the most in nearly two years.

Affordability is improving. The median price slipped a bit in July from June to $222,900, the Realtors said. Though that was still 4.9 percent more than a year ago, year-over-year price gains have slowed.

And the average rate for a 30-year mortgage fell to 4.1 percent this week, the lowest level this year, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac. At the start of the year, the average rate was 4.53 percent.

A study released Thursday by data provider Zillow found that home buyers paid just 15.3 percent of their incomes on the mortgage for a typical home at the end of the April-June quarter. That's much lower than the 22.1 percent share during the housing bubble that ended in 2006.

The Realtors report also showed that healthy sales make up a rising share of purchases. Fewer home sales stem from foreclosures or involve homes for which the seller owed more on their mortgage than the home was worth.

Those "distressed" sales made up just 9 percent of sales in July — the lowest proportion since the Realtors began tracking the figure in October 2008. Distressed sales, which tend to drag down neighborhood prices, had made up 36 percent of sales in 2009.

Many distressed sales were made to investors, including private equity firms. They bought large numbers of homes and drove up overall sales in 2011 and 2012.

Ron Peltier, CEO of HomeServices America, a real estate brokerage affiliated with Berkshire Hathaway, noted that those sales weren't sustainable.

"We were seeing sales in clumps," he said. "Now we're seeing sales the good old-fashioned way: One at a time."

First-time homebuyers made up 29 percent of sales in July, up slightly from June and the second straight gain. Still, that's well below the typical figure of 40 percent. First-time buyers are critical to a housing recovery, in part because they enable homeowners seeking to buy larger homes to sell.

First-time buyers are likely benefiting from strong job gains. Hiring since February has reached its healthiest pace since 2006. But first-timers also face higher credit standards and down-payment requirements, making it harder for many to qualify for mortgages.

——

Contact Chris Rugaber on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/ChrisRugaber

 


8/21/2014 6:07:24 PM


U.S. moulding consumption poised for a bull market rally

 

 

Improving U.S. Moulding Market Spurring on a Rise in Imports

Vancouver, BC - August 12, 2014 

International WOOD MARKETS Group announces the release of the 9th Edition of its acclaimed

U.S Clear Pine Lumber & Moulding Market Outlook: 2014- 2018. Consolidation of manufacturing both domestically and offshore continues to set the stage for interesting market dynamics as U.S. demand moves into high gear now anticipated for later half of 2014 and into 2015.

 

After enduring four years of declining demand of epic proportions, underlying demand is beginning to re-emerge. "Although not the strong start the industry was anticipating for 2014, the results in the second half of this year should build on the demand gains made in 2013", comments co-author Russell Taylor.

 

After six months of research that included discussions with most of the major clear pine lumber and moulding industry players in North America and the Southern Hemisphere, and following extensive modelling and forecasting work, the lead author of the report Mr. Butzelaar's overriding conclusion is that a wave of demand is coming and so are higher prices. WOOD MARKETS is projecting U.S. housing starts to surpass 1 million starts in 2014 followed by an additional 125,000 starts in 2015. As the labour market and income levels improves, housing demand will see accelerating growth as will residential repair and remodelling (R&R) - the two main drivers of moulding demand. However, due to mill closures, supply chain consolidation, and limited supplies of domestic clear pine fiber, traditional moulding supply in North America is forecast to struggle to keep up with demand.  

 

Some of the critical findings of the report include:

  • Clear pine material supply within the U.S. is forecast to expand some 20% over the next five years, yet the forecast volumes are still less than a third of what they were in the early 1990's - pre spotted owl era.  "Although domestic moulding and millwork industry is far smaller less than it once was, to meet the forecast domestic demand for raw material, the industry will have to become ever more dependent on imported clear pine material, primarily from regions with plantation pine forests" states Mr. Butzelaar.
  • U.S. moulding consumption increased by 12% in 2013 on gains attributed to housing starts that rose by 143,000 units to 925,000 units and a more moderate uptick in repair and R&R. Based on a projected slower rate of growth in 2014 housing activity, WOOD MARKETS is projecting a 4% growth in moulding consumption for this year followed by more robust and accelerating growth in the mid to later years of its 5 year forecast as the U.S. economic recovery gains momentum.
  • Imports of softwood mouldings continue to gain a larger share of the moulding market climbing to over 40% of total consumption in 2013 with further increases projected for 2014. As Mr. Butzelaar notes, "the re-emergence of China as one of the top four importing countries of softwood moulding products is creating a lot of interest around whether this is a temporary blip or the start of something much bigger." The report highlights what products the Chinese are bringing in, what species they are consuming, from where they are getting their raw material inputs, and what is the growth potential for Chinese moulding imports over the next five years.
  • The market share for traditional solid lineal pine mouldings is losing ground to alternatives mouldings made from hardwoods, plastic, as well as paint-grade mouldings made from finger-joint or MDF. Paint-grade mouldings