This morning, Mark Kennedy, CIBC Equity Research, added meaning to the promising U.S. housing starts data as follows: “If we start 2014 with housing starts at or near 1.1 million – then our estimate for 2014 of 1,130,000 starts could begin to look very conservative. We will wait and see. The encouraging news is the big uptick in November starts to nearly 1.1 million. Within this number, single family starts jumped a significant 21% from 602,000 in October 2013 to 727,000 in November 2013. This uptick in single family is good for lumber consumption – every 100,000 single family homes represents about 1.6 billion FBM of lumber demand.”
“Housing has started to recover, but we are still very much in the early stages. While the exact shape of the recovery is difficult to predict, there’s really no disagreement that the overall direction is up. We believe housing will be very positive going forward.” (Bloomberg)
– Patty Bedient, CFO Weyerhaeuser Co. – Dec 17.