Industry News

Prices of Building Materials Increases in April, Like Most Goods

NAHB: Posted on MAY 18, 2016

Inflation in prices received by producers (prior to sales to consumers) rose 0.2% in April according to the latest Producer Price Index release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The gains were broad-based as the prices for goods and services which posted increases of 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively. Prices for goods advanced 0.2% as declines in prices for trade, transportation, and warehousing were more than offset by a 0.3% increase among all other service prices. 

Really? OSB Sheathing Blamed in Building Collapse Due to 86 mph Wind!

SBC Magazine: Posted on May 16, 2016

You may recall the Brier Creek Multifamily building collapse due to a straight line wind gust of approximately 86 mph that went viral in early 2014. This generated significant media attention, which you can relive via the links found at the end of this article.

It goes without saying any natural disaster, like a tornado or hurricane, causes severe stress on buildings. Hence, to state in an article or even imply that OSB is the cause of a collapse is disingenuous at best (sensationalizing for promotional gain), and unprofessional at worst.

Don’t Be Surprised if Lumber Prices Change

NAHBNow: Posted on May 11, 2016

As wildfires continue to rage through portions of Alberta, Canada, many are wondering how and when things will return to normal for thousands of area evacuees. Aside from safety concerns for those who live and work in the fire-plagued region, NAHB and its members are anxious to see what impact, if any, the fires will have on the housing industry.
For one, NAHB economists and other industry experts say they wouldn’t be surprised if supply chain problems lead to higher lumber prices in the near term, depending on the extent of the damage. However, they also note that recent history has shown minimal evidence of a correlation between forest fires and lumber prices..

New Study Explores Integrated 'Systems Approach' to Energy Efficiency

Alliance to Save Energy: Posted on May 11, 2016

There is growing consensus in the buildings industry that focusing on building systems—a combination of equipment, controls, operations and interconnections—will become increasingly necessary to achieve future meaningful and cost-effective energy savings in buildings. The Alliance to Save Energy and its partners released the Systems Efficiency Initiative (SEI) Year 1 Report at the 2016 EE Global Forum in Washington, D.C. The report, entitled Greater than the Sum of its Parts: The Case for a Systems Approach to Energy Efficiency (Sum of its Parts), describes a major shift in traditional thinking about buildings efficiency that has been heralded as a game changer by industry partners.

Simpson Strong-Tie Redesigns Prefabricated Wood Shearwalls

SBC Magazine: Posted from Simpson Strong-Tie Article May 10, 2016 

Simpson Strong-Tie, the industry leader in engineered structural connectors and building solutions, now offers a redesigned prefabricated wood shearwall that provides greater installation flexibility for contractors and additional design options for specifiers. The Strong-Wall® Wood Shearwall replaces the Strong-Wall® SB shearwall and can be used in the same applications, including residential, multi-story, and light-frame commercial wood structures.

Canadian Producers Preparing for Softwood Lumber Duties

Business Vancouver: Posted on May 6, 2016 

Canadian forest companies are no longer debating whether they will be hit with a softwood lumber duty, but how much pain the duties will cause, forest products analyst Paul Quinn told an international wood products conference Thursday.

Although Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Barack Obama told negotiators last March that they have 100 days to resolve the lumber impasse between the two countries, Quinn said that mid-June deadline is likely to pass with no resolution.

Canadian Firms Oppose Return to Lumber Quota System

The Globe & Mail: Posted May 6, 2016 

Canadian forestry company executives are eager for a new softwood lumber agreement but say they are not interest in a rumoured U.S. proposal to reinstate across-the-board quotas.

Resolute Forest Products chief executive Richard Garneau says word surfaced last week that the U.S. is seeking quotas that would put a hard cap on how much lumber could be exported to that country.

Growth in Structural Component Drives BMC Stock Q1 Sales

SBC Magazine: Posted from BMC Stock Holdings, Inc.: Posted May 5, 2016 

Canadian forestry company executives are eager for a new softwood lumber agreement but say they are not interest in a rumoured U.S. proposal to reinstate across-the-board quotas.

Resolute Forest Products chief executive Richard Garneau says word surfaced last week that the U.S. is seeking quotas that would put a hard cap on how much lumber could be exported to that country.

May Hot Sheet

BATCH News & Market Information: Posted on May 5, 2016 

"Single-family starts are off from their strong showing in February but this slowdown represents a return to a long-run, gradual growth trend that is consistent with builder confidence levels, which are overall positive. While we are also seeing a monthly decline on the multifamily front, multifamily construction is expected to level off at a solid rate given the high level of rental housing demand.”


Charts: 5 Indicators Reveal Housing's Future

Construction Dive: Posted on May 2, 2016

The residential construction industry's recovery has moved along a slow and steady path as the housing market struggled to find its footing after the crash eight years ago. Despite the lack of surging growth in homebuilding, economists are optimistic about the industry's future — especially now that the market has been able to move past the boom and bust ramifications. In fact, during a webinar Wednesday, Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac, said he expects 2016 to be housing's "best year in a decade."

Construction Update

SIMPSON Strong-Tie News from April: Posted May 2016

Construction spending rose in March and February spending was revised up. The unemployment rate remained at 5.0% and the economy added 160,000 new jobs. Q1 GDP grew 0.5%. Durable goods orders rose, and wholesale prices and the Chicago PMI fell. Consumer Confidence slipped, while consumer spending and consumer prices rose. Housing starts, new-home sales and building permits fell; builder confidence was steady. Existing home sales rose. The markets gave up most of their mid-month gains and finished with modest movement for the month. The DOW gained 0.5% to close at 17,775, the NASDAQ fell 1.9% to 4,775 and the S&P, the index most watched by economists, rose 0.3% to close at 2,066. 

US DOC Requests Comments on Softwood Lumber Subsidies

ProSales Magazine: Posted on April 29, 2016 

The Department of Commerce has issued a request for comment from the public about subsidies they received that were provided by certain countries who exported softwood lumber and softwood lumber products to the U.S. from July 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015. Under the Softwood Lumber Act of 2008, every 180 days, the Secretary of Commerce is required to report to certain Congressional committees any subsidies, including stumpage subsidies, provided by countries exporting softwood lumber to the U.S. The DOC has stated that it wants to hear about the subsidies provided by Canada and Chile only, as these two countries' exports accounted for one percent of the total imports of softwood lumber to the U.S. during the specified time period.

Twin Cities Residential Construction Continues Modest Climb

BATCH News & Market Information: Posted on April 27, 2016

Roseville, MN (April 2, 2016) – Year to date 2016 is off to the strongest start for number of residential construction permits pulled since 2007. Single-family production continued its upward trend with a three percent increase year-to-date. Multifamily production picked up in April with the help of several large projects, making up 42 percent of total activity for the year.

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