Building activity roundupUS increases building
The US housing market has continued to show positive signs with housing starts and consents both up for the month of July. Consents reached 812,000 which is the highest level since mid-2008, up 7% on the previous month and 30% above July last year. While this is still below the 5 year average these are positive signs for recovery. The US government recently announced it would by mortgage backed securities to bring down mortgage rates, which can only be good for the US housing market.
Christchurch consents far greater
There has been a 36% increase in consents for residential housing in the Christchurch area. The number of consents, 326, is the highest amount since the earthquakes began, and brings the 3 month average to the highest level since the end of 2007, well before the earthquakes. The value of earthquake related consents granted reached $59 million, again the highest since the earthquakes began. The signs couldn’t be clearer that recovery is in progress. Canterbury wood processors and growers will be waiting to see how this is going to translate to demand and prices for their region.
Australian house building drops
Australian housing consents dropped 2% from June to July. However, this translated into a 15% drop in seasonally adjusted consents, a worrying sign for the Australian building market. This has been affecting lumber imports, which dipped 5% in July, following an 18% drop in June.
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