The slow and steady recovery in the US housing market continued in September. Total US housing starts surged to a four year high of 872,000 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). Building permit data, a proxy for future housing starts, rose to 894,000 (SAAR), suggesting that strong home-building momentum will be sustained. While September starts are clearly a positive development for the US economy, it is worth remembering that new home construction in the US is still only about half of what it was before the sub-prime mortgage crisis.
Also it is worth noting that prior to the US housing crisis, BC exported an average of $7 billion a year in wood products to the United States. As of last year, that number had fallen over 60 per cent to just $2.5 billion. Over the next two years, as the US housing market starts returning to normal, the BC economy should benefit through increased export sales and employment in forestry, and manufacturing.