In another possible sign of housing market recovery, framing lumber prices have been rising lately and reached $347 per 1,000 board feet last week, which was the highest level since early May 2010 (see blue line in chart). And except for a sharp, temporary spike in lumber prices for about four weeks in April-May 2010, the $347 price is the highest since May of 2006, more than six years ago. Likewise, CME lumber futures prices in early November of $319 were at the highest level since the spring of 2006, except for a one week price spike in April 2010 (see red line in chart). While Hurricane Sandy may have contributed to a price increase in the last week or two, framing lumber prices have been trending upward since early 2009 towards the end of recession (see chart) and have increased by more than 82% since the cyclical low of $190 in January 2009. In the last year, lumber prices have increased by almost 38%, reflecting the strong rebound in new home starts, which have increased by 35% over the last year and reached a four-year high in September.
HT: Bill Greenway
Update: Lumber shipments by rail year-to-date are up 12.9% this year compared to last year, and by 22% compared to the same period in 2010.