A deeper dive into the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ nationwide total nonfarm payroll employment summary for April, with a state-by-state view and a focus on construction, reveals that nonfarm payroll employment increased month-over-month in 41 states and the District of Columbia in April, while 8 states lost jobs and North Dakota reported no change.
Canfor Pulp Products Inc. announced on Tuesday that it was further extending the production curtailment at their Taylor Pulp Mill in Vancouver. The Taylor mill produces bleached chemi-thermo mechanical pulp, with an annual production capacity of 230,000 tons. The curtailment will “continue for an extended period of time.”
Weyerhaeuser Company announced on Thursday (5-19-22) that it had successfully completed the acquisition of 80,800 acres of high-quality timberland located in North and South Carolina from a fund managed by Campbell Global for approximately $265 million. The original announcement of this acquisition was made in April of 2022.
According to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Quarterly Starts and Completion by Purpose and Design survey, custom home building posted a year-over-year gain for Q1 of 2022. The survey reports that there were 46,000 total custom building starts in Q1 of 2022. This is a year-over-year increase of 28% (Q1 of 2021).
Redfin’s Home Buyer Demand Index (HBDI) posted its largest annual decline since April 2020. Still, desirable homes are getting scooped up at a record pace, a median 15 days on market. The HBDI noted that homebuyers continue to pull back in the wake of record-high purchasing costs. Mortgage purchase applications fell to their lowest level since May 2020.
According to the April Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Builder Application Survey (BAS), mortgage applications for new home purchases declined -10.6% year-over-year. Compared to March 2022, applications decreased by -14.0%. This change does not include any adjustments typical seasonal patterns.
Mercer Mass Timber LLC., a subsidiary of the Vancouver, British Columbia-based Mercer International Inc., a global producer of market pulp and solid wood products with mills in Canada, Germany, and Australia, announced on Wednesday that it plans to invest $50 million (USD) over the next two years in capital projects at its Spokane Valley mass timber manufacturing facility.
The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) reported on Thursday that total existing home sales dropped -2.4% in April from March to a seasonally adjusted rate at 5.61 million homes. This marks the third consecutive month of existing home sales declines. Year-over-year, however, sales are down -5.9% (5.96 million in April 2021).
Freddie Mac has released its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) for the week ending May 19, 2022. The PMMS reports that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.25% with an average 0.9 point, down from last week when it averaged 5.30%.
The Conference Board, a non-partisan, not-for-profit think tank founded in 1916, released today (5-19-22) the Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. in April of 2022. According to the report, the LEI declined -0.3% to a reading of 119.2 (2016=100), following a 0.1% increase in March and a 0.6% increase in February.