A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about the depressing news that kept surfacing about the housing market and other economic forecasts, but as soon as I did that, my requests for positive insights were answered.
First I read an upbeat article in Forbes about the bullish housing market and how we need to put our recession worries behind us. Then I picked up the Lumber Cooperator this morning to look at an article about Home Central, but I ended up reading an article that cited the hustle in the housing market.
The author of the Forbes article cites variations in housing recovery across the nation, but notes that many areas are seeing 5-8 year highs in housing prices and Mayor Bloomberg has noted that complaints about the lack of affordable housing mean that the market has recovered within NYC. Meanwhile the Lumber Cooperator article also notes that despite rising housing payments, the market is strong.
Most analysts believe there will be a mid-2014 decline, but some feel that the remodeling market could stay strong. Our area, like the rest of the nation, sees variations from the averages across the country, but certainly there are factors that could improve the remodeling market in our area. Those factors, like military spending or gas drilling, are definitely not something we can bank on. Nor should we rely on such booms, our communities need to have underlying strength that can weather such storms.
Despite the hustle in the national housing market we have seen a quiet Fall. Not the huge rush on winterization projects, no major boom in roofing sales, just a slightly below average autumn. For now we will take what we can squeeze from the increase in the housing market, but not set our hopes too high for 2014.
The lumber market right now is fairly steady, no large movements up or down. Plywood usually increases in the last quarter and this year is no different. Mills hold panel prices up by tweaking output with holiday closures and other supply tactics.
One thing is for sure, with the giant swings in OSB prices in 2013, buyers will play try to play it safe in 2014.
Bottom line: make hay while the sun shines, or replace a roof. Either way, preparation and planning are key.