With new home construction hitting a million new starts a year for the first time since 2008, a national forest management firm reports that timber prices for large standing trees are rising off the bottom and lumber is starting to soar.
Marshall Thomas, president of F&W Forestry Services, Inc., based in Albany, Ga., said timber prices are increasing in all of his company’s operating regions: the U.S. southern pine belt, the Appalachian central hardwood region, and the Northeast. The company also operates in South America.
“Stumpage (standing trees) prices were mostly up across our operating regions during the first quarter of 2013, continuing the trend from late last year,” Thomas writes in his firm’s publication, the F&W Forestry Report, that reports on national forestry developments. “That’s good news, and it’s about time that we are seeing increases quarter-over-quarter.
“The best news, however, is that southern pine lumber prices jumped 36 percent in the first quarter over last year’s average,” Thomas said. “That’s a sure sign of increasing demand.”
The U.S. Commerce Department reported that housing starts in March rose to an annualized rate of 1.04 million—the first time that measure has broken a million since 2008. Most of the increase was in multi-unit housing structures. Individual home starts were down slightly from February at an annualized rate of 619,000. The overall strong March housing construction statistics come at the beginning of the prime spring home-buying season and point to a sustained comeback in home construction.
From F&W Forestry Services: http://msg4svc.net/servlet/Pv?c=703d626174657326733d3135363535266d3d31303226743d4826723d4e2664613d30267469643d30