Posts Tagged ‘lumber’

4 Concerns of Homebuilders Have Impacting Every American

March 20th, 2018 Comments off


PwC Partner Mitch Roschelle says that homebuilders’ optimism is retreating. Roschelle cites among the factors behind the decline – land, labor and lumber – which could affect every American who owns or rents a house.


You could add one more “L” to Roshelle’s list, LIBOR.

LIBOR is a benchmark rate, which some of the world’s leading banks charge each other for short-term loans. It stands for London Interbank Offered Rate, and serves as a first step to calculating interest rates on various loan products throughout the world.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) tells MHProNews that their builder sentiment gauge fell to 70, the lowest reading since last November.


Builders’ optimism continues to be fueled by growing consumer demand for housing and confidence in the market,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel, a custom home builder from LaPlace, LA. “However, builders are reporting challenges in finding buildable lots, which could limit their ability to meet this demand.”


A strong labor market, rising incomes and a growing economy are boosting demand for homeownership even as interest rates rise,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz to the Daily Business News. “With these economic fundamentals in place, the single-family sector should continue to make gains at a gradual pace in the months ahead.”


Problems for Stick-Builders Could be Good News for Manufactured Housing…

Producers tell MHProNews that when components like steel, aluminum or lumber rise for conventional builders, even though it goes up for factory builders too, they increase is often less steep. Bulk purchase buying power is one reason for the advantage.

Less waste in the building process is another.

Manufactured housing sales have risen steadily since it hit its all-time low in 2009.


In spite of the obvious price and other advantages that manufactured housing has over conventional builders, the industry has still lagged behind.

The causes for that lag have been explored in other reports, including the analysis sparked by the Urban Institute’s report on manufactured housing. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)


Urban Institute Ask for Correction in Analysis of their Manufactured Housing Research, “Follow the Facts,” “Follow the Money”

HUD Comment Letter – FR-6075-N-01 Regulatory Review of Manufactured Housing Rules

Reaching for the Sky, Multiple Level HUD Code Manufactured Homes

First Things First in Manufactured Housing

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Bark Worse than Bite? Manufactured Housing Institute Slams Trump Administration Lumber Tariffs

April 27th, 2017 Comments off

Credits: MHI, MHProNews, GraphicClick.

Comments from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on CNBC yesterday regarding proposed anti-subsidy tariffs on Canadian goods raised quite a stir.

The tariff is not the beginning of a trade war with Canada,” said Ross.

It shows President Trump is making good on promises to hold Canada accountable for unfair practices such as those that have hurt American dairy farmers.”

And, for lack of a better term, one “shark” was swimming in the waters and shared his feelings on the matter.

By the time it’s over softwood lumber, automotive parts, milk would all need to be renegotiated,” said investor and star of the TV show Shark Tank, Kevin O’Leary, who is also running to lead Canada’s Conservative Party.

If all of a sudden we have to say let’s get rid of supply-side management in Canada, you have to do it in Vermont. You have to do it in Wisconsin. And by the way, the milk market in the United States is 10 times bigger. You will wipe out millions of farmers and the supply chain and all the people they work with.”

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland pointed out that the actions by the U.S. had not started a trade war, but instead mentioned that Washington D.C. needed to better understand the situation.

You need our lumber. You need our lumber to build your homes,” said Freeland.

Lumber prices are already very high in the United States. They’ve gone up about $3,000 per house this year, and for every $1,000 in increase of the price of a house, U.S. homebuilders estimate that means another 150,000 U.S. families can’t afford a home.”


MHI Weighs In – Who’s Manning the Train?

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) weighed in on the matter.


MHI meetings are closed to journalists and reporters, even pro-industry trade reporters. Why? Photo credit, MHProNews, MHI logo is that organization’s intellectual property.

MHI has long advocated that consumers need access to a stable, dependable and affordable lumber supply. Canadian imports of softwood lumber account for as much as one-third of the lumber used in the construction of manufactured homes,” said MHI in a release.

MHI is concerned that these tariffs on softwood lumber will have negative repercussions for consumers because of the increased cost of materials. According to the Department of Commerce, imports of softwood lumber from Canada in 2016 were valued at an estimated $5.66 billion.”

MHI has said in recent weeks that they have wanted to head off a potential tariff issue, and also announced that it has joined the American Alliance of Lumber Consumers (AALC), a coalition of business groups who support open trade in lumber and building materials.

AALC members include the National Association of Home Builders, the National Retail Federation, and the National Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association.

The American Alliance of Lumber Consumers believes that unilaterally imposing punitive tariffs is counterproductive and could create large and unpredictable swings in the cost and supply of lumber. We urge the U.S. and Canada to work quickly and cooperatively to achieve a long-term solution to resolve this ongoing trade conflict,” the organization said in a statement.

It is important to note that pro-Trump Administration industry sources are concerned that MHI’s staff don’t understand President Trump’s America First, American Jobs thinking.

Those same sources point out that about half of MHI team members, by design, are Democrats. MHI says that they want this mix, in order to give them “balanced access” to either party in Washington D.C.

One week before the U.S. Presidential election in November, MHI hosted two featured speakers at their meeting in Chicago, who were pro-Clinton.

This fact poses an interesting question: are the Democratic voices conducting the train on MHI’s handling of the tariff topic?


Another View of the Story – More Bark Than Bite?

Canadian Lumber. Credit: Breitbart News.

An analysis from Breitbart News digs deeper, and shows that there may be more bark than bite in President Trump’s move.

For one thing, lumber prices actually declined after the tariffs were announced. Lumber futures fell on Tuesday by the $10 exchange limit in Chicago, a 2.5 percent drop. The prices of Canadian lumber companies rose, some sharply. Shares of Canfor Corp were up by 8.09 percent on Tuesday and West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. rose by 2.37 percent,” said writer John Carney.

John Carney. Credit: Breitbart News.

As it turns out, the 20 percent tariff was smaller than what the market expected. The Trump administration has actually adopted a gentler policy on Canadian lumber than analysts and investors had forecast.”

Carney also points out that the lumber tariff is more accurately understood as a symbolic gesture by the Trump Administration, aimed at giving its “America First” stance additional face time. It’s intended target, says Carney, are trading partners in Europe, Japan and Mexico. The move sends a message without impeding larger trade flows.

The Trump administration also hoped the move would be welcomed by economic nationalists, first announcing the tariffs at a meeting with conservative journalists on Monday night,” writes Carney.

Many of Trump’s economic nationalist supporters have become increasingly concerned that the administration may be backing away from America First trade stance that was central to its electoral victory in November.” ##


(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)



RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews

Universal Acquires Concrete and Lumber Supplier

October 8th, 2013 Comments off

Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Univesal Forest Products Inc. (NYSE:UFPI) is acquiring certain assets of SE Panel and Lumber Supply of South Daytona, Florida for an undisclosed dollar amount. According to, the acquisition, which adds products to its lineup and expands its reach, is expected to close next month. As MHProNews knows, UFPI is a holding company with subsidiaries that provide wood and wood alternative component products to the manufactured housing industry.

(Image credit: Universal Forest Products, Inc.)

Triangular Modules Create Sharp-angled Modern House

March 8th, 2013 Comments off

OregonLive informs MHProNews Method Homes and Skylab Architecture have partnered on the modular HOMB House, a series of 100 square foot triangular modules that fit together like a honeycomb. With four bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths, the house in Portland, OR has 2,700 square plus an excavated basement of 1,200 square feet. Skylab founder Jeff Kovel says it’s not just designing a home but creating a home-building system that can have different applications. Method Homes co-founder Brian Abramson says the total cost is $225 a square foot, which includes site preparation, set, and finish. HOMB relies on sustainable materials including Forest Stewardship Council-certified lumber, energy-efficient HVAC, low-flow faucets, and LED dimmable lights. The modules themselves run $170 a square foot.

(Photo credit: Doug Beghtel/The Oregonian)

The Fed Says: Economy is Gaining Strength

January 17th, 2013 Comments off

From HousingWire comes news that all 12 Federal Reserve districts indicate the economy is growing, at least moderately, in their areas, according to the Beige Book. Loan demand grew in New York, Chicago, Dallas, and Atlanta but fell slightly in St. Louis. While posting a modicum of growth in loan demand, the increase for the districts of Cleveland, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Richmond, and San Francisco was virtually nil. While lending to real estate developers beyond multifamily projects is at a standstill in San Francisco, commercial real estate lending improved in the New York, Cleveland, Kansas City and Dallas districts. Real estate activity expanded or held steady in 11 of the 12 districts for existing home sales and leasing. MHProNews has been informed a rise in the prices of lumber and drywall in the Kansas City district hindered construction.

(Image credit: texaslendingtoday)

UFPI Inc. Acquires Nepa

October 22nd, 2012 Comments off

Community NASDAQ reports UFP Washington LLC, a subsidiary of Universal Forest Products, Inc. (UFPI), has agreed to acquire the assets of Nepa Pallet and Container, Inc., a manufacturer of pallets, bins and containers for industry and agriculture in Washington. This acquisition strengthens UFPI’s foot hold in the Northwest U.S., and follows the procurement earlier this year of MSR Forest Products, LLC of Alabama, a supplier of trusses and cut-to-order lumber for the manufactured housing industry. As MHProNews reported Oct. 17, 2012, this news comes on the heels of UFPI’s financials for Q3 2012 which denotes double-digit sales growth in four of the five markets, including a 35.5 percent increase in sales in the MH and RV sectors over the same period last year. In addition, the company declared a semi-annual $.20 per share dividend Dec. 15, 2012 to shareholders on record as of Dec. 1, 2012. UFPI closed Friday, Oct. 19 at 36.47, down -2.49%.

(Photo credit: Tim Saville-General Truss)

UFPI Releases Financials for Second Quarter

August 10th, 2012 Comments off

Yahoo! Finance says Universal Forest Products, Inc. (UFPI) released the following statement of earnings as a percentage of net sales, comparing Q2 2011 to Q2 2012: The company reports gross profit of 12.1% for the second quarter of 2012 versus 10.4% for the same period 2011; earnings from operations increased from 1.4% for Q2 2011 to 5.0% for the quarter ending 6-30-2012; net earnings were 3.0% for Q2 2012 as compared to 0.8% for the same period in 2011. In the manufactured housing market, gross sales were up 25% in the second quarter of 2012 over the same period of 2011, due to increased demand for HUD-Code manufactured housing, as well as demand for temporary housing related to oil and gas exploration in certain parts of the country. In their filing, the company notes its strongest sales increases were in the MH and industrial markets. MHProNews knows UFPI provides structural lumber and wood alternative products to the manufactured housing industry.

(Photo credit: Tim Saville/General Truss)

Modular Builder Receives Certification

July 13th, 2012 Comments off

Lotwenterprise reports that modular builder Wincrief Homes of Kenora, Ontario, Canada received its certification from the Canadian Standards Association to supply municipalities and First Nation peoples with modular homes. Unlike the company’s ready-to-move (RTM) homes, modular homes are eligible for financing through banks. A subsidiary of Wincrief Forestry Products, the certification ensures the lumber, electrical and plumbing materials, mechanical work and moisture barriers all meet national standards. has learned Wincrief Forestry is a partnership between Wabaseemoong First Nation (White Dog) and Moncrief Construction, owned 51 percent by First Nation.

(Photo credit: WinnipegFreePress—Lake St. Martin modular)

UFPI Adds Board Feet

May 17th, 2012 Comments off

MarketWatch informs us that MH component supplier Universal Forest Products, Inc. (UFPI) has acquired through a subsidiary Haleyville, Alabama-based MSR Forest Products, LLC, a provider of roof trusses and cut-to-order lumber for the manufactured housing industry. UFPI has an existing plant in Haleyville. With annual sales of $10 million, MSR also has a facility in Waycross, Georgia that is included in the acquisition. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, UFPI is a holding company that provides resources for subsidiaries that produce and distribute a variety of wood and wood-look products for the DYI market, engineered components for commercial and residential construction, and structural lumber for manufactured housing. has learned the purchase price was not disclosed.

(Photo credit: Tim Saville/General Truss)

Import Law Needs to be Amended

May 9th, 2012 Comments off

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) asked Congress to amend the Lacey Act that holds unknowing purchasers responsible for buying illegal wood products from overseas. Under current law the U.S. government can seize any imported wood product—cabinet knobs, wood trim, lumber—made from plant material sold in violation of foreign law without recourse or reimbursement. has learned the buyer can be held personally liable and exposed to civil and criminal liability. NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg says, “The sheer number of different sources of wood that could be included in the finished home makes it nearly impossible for a builder or remodeler to know with certainty where and under what circumstances the individual components were sourced.”

Photo credit: Chris Butler/IdahoStatesman)