1. Minneapolis Star Tribune article “Housing recovery spills into manufacturing” — “Up north in Warroad, where Marvin manufactures custom windows and doors for homes, the company has quietly hired about 140 workers in the past year. Production is creeping up, too, along with morale. And for the first time in years, officials have that giddy feeling in their guts that business is about to head up.
“The long-awaited comeback in the housing market is finally making its way to Minnesota’s battered manufacturing sector, with companies ranging from Marvin Windows and Doors to Honeywell International seeing notable jumps in sales. Area manufacturers are benefiting from an unprecedented 17 percent increase in [Minneapolis area] home sales from 2011 to 2012, and they are hopeful that those kind of gains will continue to rub off on their businesses and offer stability.
“Already, the tentacles of the housing recovery are reaching a plethora of manufacturers who specialize in furnaces, countertops, furniture, thermostats and an assortment of other goods that cater to the American home. The number of new houses and apartments planned for the Twin Cities rose almost 100 percent last year, leading to higher home-product revenues for many manufacturers.”
2. Related: The Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors reported that home sales in the Twin Cities increased 16.9% in 2012 and the median sales price increased 11.9%. For the month of January, sales increased 11% and the median sales prices increased 14.3% compared to a year earlier.
3. Related: Building permits in the Twin Cities increased to 1,217 in December, more than double the number from a year earlier (537), and the highest number of permits for the month of January since 2006.
4. Spot framing lumber prices increased this week to $408 per1,000 board feet, which is the highest level since the summer of 2005, more than seven years ago. According to a recent news report, “Softwood lumber prices in the US and Canada are back on the rise as an improving housing market in the US has fed through to higher levels of demand.”
5. DQ News — California home sales increased 2.7% in January, while the median sale prices jumped 22.9%. January marked the 11th consecutive month in which the state’s median sale price rose year-over-year. Last month’s gain was the highest since January 2005.