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Thursday, August 29, 2013
Hawaii Lumber Industry Sees Positive Future, Boost in Construction
By News Release @ 5:33 AM :: 4932 Views :: Economy

Lumber Industry Sees Positive Future Demand Led by Boost in Construction

News Release from Hawaii Lumber Products Association

(Honolulu, HI), August 28, 2013 – With continued growth in the local and national construction sector, the lumber industry is expected to enter a cycle where production demands remain strong and increase steadily over the next few years. The start of 2013 showed a 9.5 percent rise in lumber production levels from the same period in 2012, according to a report from the Wood Resource Quarterly.

“The lumber industry is about to take off,” said Ken Laughlin, president of the Hawaii Lumber Products Association (HLPA).  “As demand and production rates rise, so will the popularity of this renewable and sustainable building material.”

Nationwide starts of privately-owned housing this past July shot up 20.9 percent from July 2012, as recently reported by the U.S. Commerce Department. Authorization of building permits for privately-owned housing also went up by 12.4 percent.

Local experts believe Hawaii will be on trend to follow the national rise in construction. The Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations released its employment forecast for the third quarter of 2014, and it shows a 12.8 percent increase in construction employment, equaling 3,750 more jobs. Construction is expected to lead all other major industries to help bump the state’s overall employment by 4 percent or an additional 26,690 new jobs.

The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization (UHERO) states in its latest release that the local construction industry is in “cyclical expansion” and predicts a jump in job opportunities by over 9 percent for this year. It is estimated that by 2015 there will be around 10,000 more construction jobs than in 2012.

UHERO also believes that there will be a 3.3 percent rise in inflation-adjusted personal income in 2014. A healthy economy and more disposable income will continue to boost lumber demand as home improvements and remodeling account for a major portion of current lumber sales.

With Hawaii’s aging homes facing damage from fungal decay and pests such as termites, repairs and additions eventually become necessary.  One small sign that homeowners may be ready to upgrade is the 25 percent jump in attendance of the Building Industry Association of Hawaii’s annual “Remodel It Right, Remodel It Green Expo” held earlier this month — nearly 10,000 local residents showed up.

Even on a global level, lumber seems poised to benefit from the expected 70% surge — $15 trillion — in worldwide construction by 2025, according to the “Global Construction 2025” report issued by Global Construction Perspectives and Oxford Economics.

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The Hawaii Lumber Products Association is comprised of professionals representing the development and construction industry as well as building material producers and service companies. They are committed to the education and promotion of lumber products as the best choice for home construction in Hawaii. To find out more about using wood in home construction and HLPA, please visit www.hawaiilumber.com.

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