According to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Application Survey (WMAS), for the week ending January 7, 2022, the Market Composite Index (a measure of mortgage loan application volume) increased 1.4% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 46% compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased -0.1% from the previous week.
According to CoreLogic Loan Performance Report for October, mortgage delinquency rates reached their pre-pandemic levels in October. The drop in the delinquency rate is being credited to an improving labor market and home equity increases. According to the report, in October, 3.8% of mortgages were delinquent by at least 30 days, including foreclosure. CoreLogic’s expectations are that rates will continue to decline during 2022.
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.
Binderholz UK Holding GmbH, a subsidiary of the Austrian Binderholz Group, is reporting that it has successfully completed the acquisition of the British BSW Timber Company, based in Earlston, Scotland. With the purchase, Binderholz Group becomes Europe’s largest sawmill and solid wood processing industry company. It is estimated that with the acquisition Binderholz Group, in 2022, will have a cumulative annual turnover of €2.6 billion and around 5,000 employees.
The Segezha is reporting that their Sokol CLT plant has successfully passed its Conformité Européenne (CE) certification for its cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels. The CE certificate was obtained after a field audit performed by employees of HolzForschung Austria, the largest Austrian wood research and testing institute. The certificate confirms that the enterprise has deployed modern practices to verify that the quality of its products meets European requirements.
According to the latest Mortgage Bankers Association’s Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), which analyzes data from Ellie Mae’s AllRegs® Market Clarity® business information tool, mortgage credit availability increased in December. The MCAI rose 0.8% in December to a reading of 125.9. A decline in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening, while increases in the index are indicative of loosening credit.
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), one of the largest small business associations in the U.S., reported today (1-11-22) that their NFIB Small Business Optimism Index increased slightly in December to a reading of 98.9, up 0.5 points from the November reading of 98.4. Seven of the 10 Index components improved and three declined. Twenty-two percent of owners reported that inflation was their single most important problem.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has provided a deeper look into the relationship between U.S. domestic sawmills’ inability to increase output to meet growing demand since mid-2020 and the resulting lack of new home availability. The NAHB cites the lack of increased domestic sawmill activity as one of the primary factors that has contributed to record high lumber and panel prices and continuing price volatility in both the lumber and housing markets.
As the climate in Colorado continues to dry and warm, wildfire mitigation efforts such as forest thinning are becoming ever more important. However, much of the thinned wood often ends up in a landfill or is wasted. Timber Age Systems, Colorado-based company is working to change that. TAS is working with smaller trees, beetle-killed material, and other wood products that don’t always meet commercial needs and turning them into CLT on a smaller size scale.
Redfin, the Seattle-based technology-powered real estate brokerage, in their latest housing market report reveals that the housing market started off the new year with fewer homes for sale than ever before, as active listings fell -27% year-over-year. The report also notes that the median home-sale price increased 14% year-over-year to $358,460, just shy of an all-time high. The median asking price of newly listed homes increased 12% year-over-year to $341,200.