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New housing starts continue to be strong and housing prices seem to be strengthening every month. The news in the housing market demonstrates that while much of the economy seems to be in the doldrums, this market segment continues to be the leading the way. This year so far housing starts are up over 22% from last year. While the growth is encouraging, we need to put this statistic in perspective, the new housing starts are still less than 50% of what they were in 2006.
The continued strength in new housing starts is putting pressure on the wood supply chain and prices are starting to increase again. After lumber prices stabilized or even dropped over the late summer and early fall, framing lumber prices are now at its highest point this year and 10% higher than last month.
Costs for wood used in crating and packaging is also on the rise. Packnet continues to work with its suppliers to try to obtain the best prices possible.