With the U.S. economy and employment growing robustly in 2021 and 2022, interest rates remaining low by historical standards, many of the supply-side constraints that held back housing over the past half-decade resolved, and high pent-up demand, Jannke says that he expects housing starts will continue to grow from an average of 1.584 million units in 2021 to 1.618 million in 2022. Ultimately, he expects lumber prices will continue to be volatile in 2022.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Thursday (12-2-21) it will begin issuing final pandemic assistance payments to timber harvesters and timber hauling businesses through the Pandemic Assistance for Timber Harvesters and Haulers (PATHH) program starting next week. In total, $200 million will be provided to loggers and log trucking businesses.
Starting on Wednesday (12-1-21), authorities said its railway port will “suspend the import of non-containerized goods including timber, coal, mineral powder, chemical fertilizers, and other products that require manual loading and unloading.” The aim is to “strengthen prevention and control” of the outbreak at ports and “effectively block the spread of overseas epidemics through imported goods.”
EACOM Timber Corp. has announced that their Timmins sawmill is back in operation after a temporary shutdown last week due to a COVID-19 outbreak that was reported on May 12, 2021 at the site. The sawmill is currently running one shift instead of the usual two.
Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the United Kingdom (UK) leaving the European Union (EU) has resulted in the EU27 +UK in -7% decrease of plywood and other woods in 2020, this on the heals of a -14% decline in 2019.
In a letter sent to sellers on Wednesday (3-10-21), Fannie Mae, the government sponsored entity (GSE), said it was tightening the underwriting criteria for second homes and investment properties.
According to Q4 2020 data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Quarterly Starts and Completion by Purpose and Design and analysis provide by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), new home sizes did level off in 2020 after years of decline. This was driven by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and home buyers’ need for additional space as people use their homes for more purposes.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported that the unemployment rate fell by 0.4% point to 6.3% in January, while nonfarm payroll employment changed little (+49,000).
According to the latest (2-5-21) Federal Reserve’s G.19 Report, the economic recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic derailed the consumer credit’s trajectory growth rate for all of 2020. Revolving credit, of which credit card debt is a major component, shrank by -11.2% over the year, while nonrevolving credit increased 3.9%, thus producing an overall growth rate of 0.0%.
Statistics Canada (StatCan) is reporting that January employment fell by 213,000 or -1.2%. The decline in January followed a 53,000 decline or -0.3% in December, bring employment to its lowest level since August 2020. Most of the January losses were in part-time work and concentrated in the Ontario and Quebec retail sectors and in Newfoundland and Labrador.