Dealers responding to the FEA Weekly Order Survey could not help but feel encouraged by the latest housing industry news. With the Census Bureau reporting that housing starts, and permits both up in July over June and year-over-year. Then there was the HMI – Builder’s Confidence Survey reaching a level of 78, its highest level in 35-years, matching a record last set in 1988. Nevertheless, participants continue to report that while sales remain steady to strong, they are not quite as robust as in previous weeks. Dealers continue to bid new projects and follow up on previous quotes. However, they are noticing that higher prices and a lack of available building materials appear to be holding some developers and builders back from starting new projects. Or, at least, until some of the potential new homes \ units are presold. Mills have moved their production schedules into the later weeks of Septembre and early Octobre. Transportation and production issues, both mechanical and staffing, are causing mills to ship anywhere from 2 to as much as 7-8 weeks behind scheduled shipment. And there is little to no relief in sight. Local 2-step distributors and office wholesalers continue to report a dearth of prompt shipping materials available. Making late mill shipments even more painful for dealers and their buyers. Prices continue to skyrocket with high double and some triple-digit price increases being reported again this week.
FEA compiles the Wood Markets News from various 3rd party sources to provide readers with the latest news impacting forest product markets. Opinions or views expressed in these articles do not necessarily represent those of FEA.