Fitch report says housing recovery to continue
Fitch Ratings’ latest Chalk Line report for Fall 2013 emphasized the continued strength of the housing recovery, despite recent setbacks such as the government shutdown and increased mortgage rates.
"Still low absolute mortgage rates and home prices well below former highs in most markets suggest that affordability is still attractive," said Fitch managing director Robert Curran. "Recent government struggles, negative equity and challenging mortgage qualification standards appear to be little more than short-term headwinds restraining the housing recovery."
The analysis points to stable ratings for most issuers within the homebuilding sector during the short-term outlook.
Additionally, Fitch predicts a 17% increase in single-family housing starts for 2013, with new home sales up a projected 20% and an 8.5% growth in existing home sales. Total housing starts are estimated to grow 16.5% to 1.1 million in 2014.
The report also touches on quarterly growth trends and margin statistics for homebuilders, liquidity analyses, recovery ratings for six single B or lower-rated homebuilding credits, updated population projections from the Census Bureau, foreclosure statistics, general commentary on the industry, and more.
Perennial Wood seeks prize decks
Eastman Chemical Company announced today the six finalists for the 2013 Perennial Wood Pro Challenge.
The six finalists represent a range of outdoor living trends, including the use of natural materials, decks and porches that maximize views, outdoor lounge areas and historic restorations/historic-looking new construction. Now, the public will determine the grand prize winners through crowd-sourced voting for the following finalists:
Photos are on display at the company’s Pro Challenge website.
The one deck project and one porch project with the most votes when voting closes on Oct. 26 will be the grand prize winners. The trade professionals who entered the winning projects will receive up to $5,000 in free Perennial Wood products and professional photography of their winning projects.
“Since its introduction in 2012, Perennial Wood has been embraced as the next generation of premium, real wood decking and porch flooring,” said Jim Flickinger, market development manager of Perennial Wood. “The contractors who entered the Pro Challenge take pride in their decks and porches and used Perennial Wood decking and porch flooring because they know Perennial Wood is perfect for showcase projects.”
Market Recap: RISI Crow’s Construction Materials Cost Index
A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Oct. 18, 2013
*Western – regional species perimeter foundation; Southern – regional species slab construction.
Crow’s Market Recap — A condensed recap of the market conditions for the major North American softwood lumber and panel products as reported in Crow’s Weekly Market Report.
Lumber: SPF market activity picked up Thursday, prompting producers to firm prices and even raise them in some instances. Week-long gains in the November futures contract, particularly the strong opening to Thursday’s board, brought buyers into the market. The Southern Pine lumber market was sloppier, as mills did what was needed to keep growing floor stocks moving. Wholesalers countered aggressively, took advantage of some of the deeper discounts and shorted the market. Buyers often looked for an opportunity to buy Coastal species lumber items at lower prices but found producers unwilling to cooperate in most instances. Buyers continued to want quick shipping volumes to cover immediate needs. The Inland species lumber market on Monday was described by some as dead. As the week progressed, market activity improved. Most of the activity was centered on Fir-Larch dimension. Activity for Radiata Pine Shop was light, with most sales at or near published levels. Limited offerings of Mldg&Btr kept prices for that item firm. In Ponderosa Pine, any excitement generated in the Industrial lumber market was by sales of #2 Shop, and even that was modest. The market for Ponderosa Pine #2&Btr Common continued its strong run-up. Limited supplies forced buyers to turn to secondaries for much of their coverage. Producers of ESLP #2&Btr reported steady sales of that product at published levels or slightly higher. Eastern White Pine producers saw a continuing strong market. Steady sales of both Industrial and Standard pushed mill order files out to early November. Focus among Western Red Cedar buyers and sellers was on both this year and next. Mills continued to book orders for shipment in November, but volumes were light and often heavily mixed.
Panels: Inclement weather in some regions, along with holidays in both the U.S. and Canada, added to an already subdued OSB market. Producers touted order files into late October, or even early November in some instances. The Southern Pine plywood market lacked energy, leaving mills order files thin and prices susceptible to downward pressure. Buyers exhibited little interest in purchasing much volume at whatever price. Ample availability in rated sheathing remained in place for the week of Oct. 21. Western Fir plywood mills struggled to find price levels that would entice buyers to purchase greater volumes. Negotiated price levels usually depended on volumes, with some mills open to lowering prices considerably even for highly mixed truckloads. For the second week in a row, Canadian plywood prices weakened early then firmed back up by week’s end. Distributers reported a wide range of prices depending on the time of the week the purchase was made. The overall tone of the particleboard market in the East continued to fade. While some producers have already adjusted production schedules to meet declining demand, in both particleboard and MDF, others are now considering the same move.
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