UK timber frame market about to boom

20 May 2012

A report by MTW Research forecasts that by 2016 timber frame sales in the UK will grow by 60% in volume and 80% in value, outstripping the expected pace of growth in other areas of the construction market.

Low-carbon regulations such as the Code for Sustainable Homes are cited by the report as key drivers where the timber frame industry is responding well and meeting changing market demand patterns and influences, with timber recognised as the least carbon intensive building material.

MTW Research based its report on financial data from 80% of the industry. It showed high levels of optimism amongst the...

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Canada surpasses Russia as China’s largest lumber supplier

15 May 2012

Led by British Columbia, Canada emerged as the largest exporter of lumber in the world to China in 2011, surpassing Russia as the Middle Kingdom's No. 1 source for lumber.

"We are king of the hill," Gerry Van Leeuwen, of the Vancouver consultants International Wood Markets Group, said Tuesday. "We are No. 1 in...

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Kiwi Falls to Lowest Level This Year

15 May 2012

The New Zealand dollar dropped below to it lowest level this year against the greenback after milk prices posted another sharp drop at Fonterra's latest dairy auction and on reports Greeks will be heading back to the polls.

The kiwi recently traded at US76.88 cents down from US77.72c at 5pm yesterday, a level last seen on December 30.

Meanwhile on the Trade Weighted Index of major trading partners' currencies it was last at 70.17 little changed from 70.20 yesterday.

The kiwi's move lower started in the offshore session after Greece announced it will hold a fresh election in June after...

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BNZ-REINZ Residential Market Survey

10 May 2012

Real Estate Pricing Activity Lifting

Our latest monthly BNZ-REINZ Residential Market Survey has found an increase in the net percent of

agents reporting first home buyers active in the market, an increase in investor numbers, and a decrease

in requests for appraisals. The result of these changes is a surge to a record net 64% of licensed agents

reporting that dwelling prices are rising. The April result for this measure was just 25% and in May last year

a net 7% reported that prices were falling.

Yet in spite of clear gathering upward...

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US Housing starts strengthen in 1st quarter

8 May 2012

The March U.S. housing report provided a mixed view of conditions in the residential construction sector, as starts dropped 5.8% from February, but permits rose 4.5%.

The pullback in starts to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000 units was largely viewed as a correction attributed to business being pulled forward into January and February as a result fo the mild winter. For the first quarter, actual starts totaled 149,600 units, up 19.2% from the same quarter of 2011.


The March U.S. housing report provided a mixed view of conditions in the residential construction sector, as starts dropped 5.8% from...

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Super Fund in bid to boost stake in Kaingaroa forest

3 May 2012

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund has teamed up with a global investment firm to bid for full ownership of the cutting rights to the country's largest commercial forestry estate.

The Super Fund and Boston-based investment firm GMO Renewable Resources want to buy out Harvard Management Company's (HMC) majority stake in Kaingaroa forest in the central North Island.

If successful, the deal would return more of the prime timber-generating asset back to New Zealand hands.

In 1996 the state-owned Forestry Corporation, of which Kaingaroa was a part, was sold for $2.2 billion to Fletcher Challenge and its partners.

The state-owned Super...

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B. C. Interior’s annual allowable timber harvest to fall from 60 million cubic metres to 40 million cubic metres and will support a smaller forest products industry

29 April 2012

New and updated report outlines the ongoing timber and sawmill impacts in the B.C. Interior resulting from the MPB epidemic, the emerging downstream "supply gap" in North American lumber markets and opportunities that may exist in B.C. "after the beetle".

Vancouver, B.C. - April 25, 2012

The mountain pine beetle (MPB) outbreak in the B.C. Interior is responsible for eroding log quality, poorer conversion economics and an expiring sawlog shelf-life of the dead timber that will all result in declining timber harvests and a smaller B.C. industry in the future. While a massive salvage program has been underway for...

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Russian Log Export Tax

25 April 2012

One of the conditions of Russia’s accession into the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is that it is to reduce it’s export tax on logs.  The export tax was originally introduced to encouraging greater processing of logs within Russia.  Although the tax was ultimately planned to rise to around 100%, it has risen only as far as 25% and over the last two years there has been great uncertainty about  whether it would increase as planned or whether it would have to be discontinued if Russia was determined to join the WTO.

It now seems that changes to the log export...

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Home Ownership is Not a Tax Rort According to the Productivity Commission

23 April 2012

The Productivity Commission chaired by Murray Sherwin has published an excellent report on the housing industry (  ). It has excellent material in it which we will be using to make submissions to government.


It is in stark contrast to a book published by leading anti property campaigner, Gareth  Morgan entitled “The Great Kahuna” which launches a breathtakingly nasty attack on home ownership arguing it is a tax rort and a waste of our national capital.

On the other hand The Sherwin report, which is well written in English, provides quality analysis and rests on a good working knowledge of accounting...

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Building Industry Revival

23 April 2012

We pick a slow recovery in activity throughout 2012.

The Christchurch rebuild will definitely help the aggregate stats but we need a more broad based recovery.

There is a huge backlog of remedial work which includes leaky building repair and also the      upgrading of commercial and government buildings to reach the earthquake standards required by law and to satisfy insurers and financiers. How all this will be paid for no one really knows. Logically tenants or owner occupiers will have to pay but in current economic conditions large increases in real or imputed rentals are   simply unaffordable.


We pick a...

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