Construction has commenced within the Live Oak Bank campus in Wilmington, North Carolina, on an office building to be built using 100% mass timber, according to Building Design+Construction magazine. “Building Four” will be a 67,000 square foot structure.
Wood Markets News
Existing Home Prices Fell 1.2% in February—The First Annual Decline Since 2012
Redfin reported on Friday that the median US home price fell 1.2% in February, marking the first year-over-year decline since 2012. Home purchases continued to level off after a sharp pullback in 2022H2. New listings were at their lowest level on record aside from the start of the pandemic.
Södra’s New CLT Facility in Värö, Sweden, Increases Its CLT Capacity Tenfold
On Wednesday, Södra opened a new cross-laminated timber (CLT) facility on the west coast of Sweden. The plant, located in Värö, is one of the largest in Sweden and will permit a tenfold increase in Södra’s production capacity.
Canadian Industrial Product and Raw Materials Price Indexes Both Decline in February
Statistics Canada reported on Friday that prices of products manufactured in Canada, as measured by the Industrial Product Price Index (IPPI), declined 0.8% month-over-month in February, following a 0.3% increase in January. Year-over-year, the IPPI was up 1.4%.
US Leading Economic Index® Declined Again in January, The Conference Board Reports
The Conference Board released today its Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the US in February. The LEI declined 0.3% in February to a reading of 110.0 (2016=100), after declining 0.3% in January. The LEI has dropped 3.6% over the six-month period from August 2022 to February 2023.
University of Michigan Reports Preliminary Results of Its Consumer Sentiment Index for March
The University of Michigan on Friday released the preliminary results of its Consumer Sentiment Index for March. The Index of Consumer Sentiment declined to a reading of 63.4, down from 67.0 in February. This is a month-over-month decrease of 5.4% but up 6.7% year-over-year.
US Housing Starts, Permits, and Completions All Rise in February
The US Census Bureau reported on Thursday that privately‐owned housing starts in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,450,000. This is 9.8% above the revised January estimate of 1,321,000. Single-family starts were at a rate of 830,000; this is 1.1% above the revised January figure of 821,000.
EU Parliament Adopts More Ambitious Carbon Sink Goals
The EU Parliament on Tuesday adopted the revised regulation on the land use, land use change, and forestry sector (LULUCF) which seeks to improve natural carbon sinks to make the EU the first climate-neutral continent by 2050 and improve biodiversity in line with the European Green Deal.
Fixed Mortgage Rates Retreat After 5 Consecutive Weeks of Gains
Freddie Mac has released its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® for the week ending March 16th. The PMMS reports that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.60%, down from last week when it averaged 6.73%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year rate averaged 4.16%.
Building Materials Prices Post a 0.3% Increase in February; Rise 2.9% Year-Over-Year
A closer look at January’s US Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index (PPI) reveals that for the second consecutive month the PPI for inputs to residential construction less energy increased, rising 0.3%, not seasonally adjusted, in February. This follows a revised 1.1% increase in January.