DIY Sawmill, Home Sales Strong, Builders Slowing

If you have access to trees, now might be the time to finally invest in your own made in Portland portable sawmill. Personally I asked a friend of a friend to mill some trees from the storm and he’s charging $75 an hour… and that doesn’t even include kiln-drying!

Rates – remained mostly unchanged this week as mortgage backed securities moved sideways and continued to trade within the 50 & 100 day moving averages. Rates are down approximately 1/4% from this time last year.

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Home Sales – decreased 2.7% between March & April due to lack of supply. Year over year sales are up over 19%. 1.16M homes are for sale nationwide, down 20% from this time last year. Homes are on the market for an average of 17 days. Median home prices are up a record 19% year over year largely due to the lack of lower-priced homes. Homes sales above $1M are up 212% while sales on the lower end are down.

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Jobs – the number of people filing for unemployment for this first time decreased for the 4th consecutive week & is now only double pre-covid levels. There are approximately 16M individuals receiving some type of unemployment benefits which is 8X pre-covid levels.

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New Construction – decreased in April. Single Family Starts were down 13% nationwide and Single Family permits were also down 3.8% The year over year numbers are misleading because the economy was shut down this time last year. Many builders are also laying concrete and not putting up framing due to the price of lumber and lack of labor (which count as starts). This will continue to hurt supply.

Mortgage Application volume increased by 1.2% from the previous week. Purchases are up 2.5% year over year while refinances are down 1.8%.

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