Nav Bar

Wisconsin Building Supply is a destination for industry insight and a marketplace for valuable products at discounted prices.

Please remember, item availability is not guaranteed. All sales are final. Upon request, purchased items can be transferred to the WBS location nearest you. For additional information on any of the items listed, please contact the WBS location carrying the item/s.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April Market Update from Wisconsin Building Supply

Thanks to all of you who were able to join us for our annual customer appreciation event in Appleton earlier this month. We hope you enjoyed the educational opportunities, vendor showcase and fantastic prizes. Ed Hochuli, our keynote speaker,  was entertaining to all who attended by sharing inside stories of the NFL and some videos of his experiences as an NFL official.

Multifamily continues to climb
We’re still seeing the most construction activity in the multifamily sector. Random Lengths reports that multifamily units represented more than one-third of both the seasonally adjusted annual rate of total starts and of total permits nationwide in February. As millions of Americans try to get out of debt and recover from the slow-moving economy, the need for rental housing appears to be driving the multifamily sector back up to a level similar to where it was in 2008, and it could continue to climb. We’ll continue to monitor how this affects the single-family sector.

New home construction
April is New Homes Month, and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is highlighting data from the most recent American Housing Survey. For example, one of the virtues of a newly constructed home is the savings that come from reduced energy and maintenance expenses. Reduced operating costs mean savings over the life of ownership. The NAHB points to this as an example reason for the current system of appraisals to be updated to reflect the flow of benefits that come from features in a new home.
Building permits are on the rise
Permit levels in March rose 4.5% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 747,000 units. This is the highest level in 3 ½ years. Housing starts in March declined by 5.8% but this was due to the volatility of the multi-family market which declined 16.9%. Single family starts were down only 0.2%. So even though March starts may have declined slightly, permitting is indicating future growth. The March permits far exceeded economist’s expectations. It is expected that the housing sector could add to economic growth for the first time since 2005.
Lumber traders consider warm winter
Our numbers show the cost of lumber materials for a typical two-story house is just slightly down from last month but is higher than this time last year. U.S. softwood lumber production reached 2.295 billion board feet in January, an increase of more than eight percent over the 2.118 bbf produced in January 2011, according to the Western Wood Products Association. Softwood lumber and panel traders are keeping the unusually mild winter in mind as they size up prospects for the second quarter, considering how much spring business was borrowed in the first quarter.

We were honored to host Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as he campaigned before the Wisconsin primary earlier this month. Our Green Bay Door Shop was quickly transformed into a stage for Former Governor Romney and U.S. Representative Paul Ryan of Janesville, as well as a workspace for dozens of regional and national media. You can see more of the photos from the visit on our Facebook page.