Housing Research Brief
Easing Lumber Prices Allow Projects to Push Forward;
Seller Activity Increases
Completions climb to a three-month high. Builders finalized more single-family and multifamily housing units combined in July than in either of the previous two months. Deliveries will likely trend higher in the coming quarters as well. The moderation in the cost of a few key materials, most notably lumber, has boosted permit activity and is helping the pipeline of stalled residential developments move toward the finish line. In July, apartment permit filings lifted by 10 percent month over month as the lumber price index fell by 23 percent from the peak in May. Despite the more positive construction outlook, though, it will be difficult to meet demand as job gains and the economic recovery are accelerating household creation.