There was more confusion in the North American construction framing dimension softwood lumber market last week as prices of most home building solid wood commodity items stayed flat, except Eastern S-P-F which did correct down somewhat. The supply-demand balance seemed to be finding an even keel, although customers still were reluctant to make big purchases at unprecedented highs. The latest U.S. data for housing starts, home sales, and house prices all show phenomenal increases, indicating very strong demand for real construction and remodeling projects could keep prices up for a while yet.
Privately-owned U.S. housing starts in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,416,000, the U.S. Commerce Department said September 17. This is -5 per cent below the revised July estimate of 1,492,000, but is +3 per cent above the August 2019 rate of 1,377,000. Total starts were up +3 per cent year-over-year compared to August 2019.