After falling by -7% in July, US total housing starts for August 2021 increased by +4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.615 million.
For August 2021, total residential starts in the US shot up by +12.3% from the same month one year ago, when it was 1.416 million. Improving further over gains throughout this year, permits for future homebuilding in August were up by +6% compared to the previous month, when it was 1.630 million, to a rate of 1.728 million units. Indeed, August 2021 permits are up +13.5% compared to August 2020 when it was 1.522 million.
August starts of single-family housing, the largest share of the market and construction method which uses the most wood, was 1.076 million annualized, a -2.8% drop compared to July, when it was 1.107 million. Once again single-family permits were almost flat, at 1.054 million units, +0.6% above July when it was 1.048 million units.
Shrewd investors know that construction framing softwood lumber prices are a good leading indicator for US housing activity, including home building and home sales. Don’t miss out, get lumber price data updates directly to your desktop every Friday morning.
Looking at lumber prices, after rising incrementally since Labour Day, for the week of September 17, 2021 the price of Western S-P-F 2×4 #2&Btr KD (RL) remained flat at US$480 mfbm. That week’s price was up by +$33, or +7%, from one month ago when it was $447.
Benchmark Softwood Lumber Commodity Western Spruce-Pine-Fir Price: September 2021
STAY AHEAD of US housing price data by getting access to softwood lumber prices. Released every Friday for that week, since 1952 Madison’s Lumber Prices is used by the forest products industry as a price guide for North American construction framing dimension softwood lumber. These are, of course, the inputs into US and Canadian home building materials.
Madison’s Lumber Prices, weekly, are a good forecast indicator of US home builder’s current lumber buying activity ——> DETAILS
US Housing 1-Unit Starts & Permits August and Benchmark Softwood Lumber Prices September: 2021
When compared to the same week last year, of $960, the price of Western S-P-F 2×4 for the week of September 17, 2021 was down by -$480, or -50%.
Compared to two years’ ago when it was $382, that week’s price was up by +$98, or +26%.