It is interesting to note that total permits in June 2022 were 1.572 million, almost exactly the same as starts for August. This indicates a good momentum for ongoing construction activity. That permits are down for August is not alarming since it is the normal time of year, seasonally, for building to start slowing down.
Combined, there was a very high 1.702 million units under construction, 812,000 of those single-family homes. This is well abovethe historical record-high of 1.628 million units that were under construction in 1973. These will eventually become starts and help to underpin residential construction.
June starts of single-family housing, the largest share of the market and construction method which uses the most wood, recovered from recent drops, up +3.4% to a rate of 935,000 units. Single-family authorizations were at a rate of 899,000 units, which is -3.5% below the upwardly revised July figure of 932,000 units. Building permits are generally submitted two months before the home building is begun, so this data is as indicator of August construction activity.
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Looking at lumber prices, staying flat from the previous week, for the week ending September 23, 2022 the price of benchmark softwood lumber item Western S-P-F 2×4 #2&Btr KD (RL) was US$520 mfbm, said weekly forest products industry price guide newsletter Madison’s Lumber Reporter. This is up by $0, or 0% from the previous week when it was $520, and is down by -$83, or -14%, from one month ago when it was $603.