TACOMA, WA – Demand for wood products will continue to grow at a slow yet steady pace for the remainder of this year, predicts APA, the Engineered Wood Association. The continued growth comes in the positive economic uptick in 2012 and residential construction closing the year on an optimistic note for the first time since the recession began. With indicators pointing to rising housing starts through 2013 and into 2014, APA predicts a second straight year of growth in all four of the wood product sectors it represents.
Last year saw across-the-board increases in structural panels, I-joists, glulam, and LVL, reports Craig Adair, APA’s market research director. “In 2013, not only will that trend continue, but at a slightly faster pace in most cases,” Adair adds. “Residential construction will drive much of that growth, with pent-up demand for housing, moderately rising home prices, and growing consumer confidence having the most influence.”
APA is forecasting single-family housing starts to reach 665,000, a 24% gain, as homeowners take a positive view toward purchasing a home, the job market improves, and home prices firm up in many cities. Multi-family starts are expected to improve 35% to 330,000 units.
The remodeling market is also showing small signs of life, although the outlook is brighter into the second half of 2013 and in years following. The NAHB’s Remodeling Market Index is above 50 for the first time since 2005, meaning that more remodelers expect business to be higher or better in the future than lower. The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies predicts repair and remodeling expenditures to reach 2007 levels, around $145 billion, a dramatic improvement over 2008-2012 levels.
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