1. Strongly beating the consensus expectation of a weak 1% increase, pending home sales increased in October by a whopping 5.2% compared to September, and by 13.2% compared to last October, bringing the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) to its highest level since March 2007. By region, the strongest gains in the PHSI for October were in the Midwest (+20%) and the South (+17.4%).
2. Framing lumber prices increased last week to $355 per 1,000 board feet, which represents an annual gain of 35%, and brings lumber prices to their highest level in more than six years, except for a brief period in April 2010 when prices spiked above $360 for a few weeks.