Construction of single-family homes, which are the most needy in the US, fell 12% compared to December.
As the pandemic has forced thousands of people to remain in their homes, remodeling of these has been increasing, even leaving aside the opportunity to obtain new homes.
This was pointed out by a report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the US Census Bureau, which indicates that construction of single-family homes fell 12.2% since December, despite being the most needy in the country. The reason: the higher costs of wood.
In the financial market, the wood futures for March reached a new record this Thursday, exceeding US $ 1,000 per thousand board feet, double the price of just three months ago.
“Concerns about higher lumber prices led to weakness in the housing market amid strong buyer traffic at the beginning of the year,” said the president of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Chuck Fowke.
“As the cost of building materials increases at a rapid rate, the challenge for builders is to keep home prices affordable for buyers, even as the regulatory policy environment may become more challenging,” added.
However, the situation is becoming increasingly difficult strong demand for this material in full swing of remodeling that prevents producers from restocking inventories on time. Similarly, this rally fueled concerns that inflation will directly affect the home buying market.
For the same reason, at the end of January, the NAHB sent a paper to Joe Biden requesting that he contact national lumber producers to urge them to increase lumber productionIn addition to asking the US Department of Commerce to investigate why production remains at such low levels during this period of high demand.
In the same way, they asked the president return to the negotiating table with Canada to achieve a new softwood lumber agreement and thus end import tariffs.
“Housing can do its part to create jobs and move the economy forward, but to do so we need your help to address rising wood prices and chronic shortages,” they wrote.
Kevin Mason, director of ERA Forest Products Research in Kelowna, told Bloomberg, Timber prices are expected to continue rising before peaking in March or April. Likewise, Shawn Hackett, president of Hackett Financial Advisors in Florida, said that the recovery is unlikely to last beyond the spring.