Softwood lumber prices hit highest levels since 2004

Dive Brief: Softwood lumber prices are at their highest levels since September 2004, rising 13.4% year-over-year in April, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The NAHB points to the recent softwood lumber trade woes between the U.S. and Canada as the lead, and perhaps only, culprit… Continue Reading

Distracted Driving a Concern for Everyone, Including Builders

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, but the topic might as well be a year-round initiative. The National Safety Council estimates that in 2016, roughly 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes — the highest total in nine years and an alarming 14% increase from just two years ago. “From an insurance industry perspective, [distracted driving] is the No.… Continue Reading

New Homes Strengthen Economy, Spur Job Growth

As the housing industry celebrates New Homes Month in April, newly released data from the U.S. Commerce Department confirms the significant contribution that residential construction has on the U.S. economy. Final estimates of fourth quarter 2016 gross domestic product (GDP) growth show that housing’s share of GDP stands at 15.6%. “Home building is a key… Continue Reading

Random Lengths Lumber Market Report

While lagging the pace of the February run, trading in framing lumber picked up, giving mills enough business to extend order files and raise prices. Trading in Southern Pine, a laggard in recent weeks compared to other species, kicked into a higher gear. Double-digit discounting seen in previous weeks dried up, as secondaries stepped in… Continue Reading

New Mortgage Downpayment Program Expands Homeownership Opportunities

Even as the housing market continues its slow and steady recovery, many potential buyers find that qualifying for a mortgage and saving for a downpayment remain high hurdles to homeownership. The good news is that while lenders are looking more closely at borrowers today than in recent years, there are options for purchasing your home… Continue Reading