Timber Shortages for Home Building

Around 20 percent of timber used in the construction of detached homes from 2016 to 2019 was imported. Domestic production of timber has not kept pace with demand over the past two decades. In a typical year, this isn’t a problem as there are generally few constraints on the importation of timber to Australia.

Exposure to the deeper international market typically means that surges in demand for timber can be quickly accommodated by a rise in imports of timber. This situation changed in 2020 with the onset of the pandemic where constraints on international shipping emerged. The surge in demand for framing timbers also coincided with a surge in demand globally. This is limiting Australia’s ability to source timber from international markets at a competitive price. 

Demand for timber is unprecedented

In 2021, it was anticipated that the number of new detached homes that commence construction in Australia will increase by 26.9 percent compared to the previous year. In addition, a boom in renovation work is adding to the large volume of building work underway.

Global prices for framing timber were recently at a record high but have started to decline due to improvements in the US market. Most developed and less developed economies are also experiencing a boom in demand for detached homes and renovations. It takes a number of months for timber production to increase to meet this rise in demand as additional milling capacity is commissioned. As a consequence, demand for timber has outstripped the capacity of timber producers globally.

Coronavirus information and support for business

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and affect our everyday lives, you can rely on HIA to provide the most up-to-date information directly to you.  The impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) on Australia’s residential building industry is a key concern for HIA and our members. Maintaining your business operations right now is challenging and HIA has built a library of resources to help you with these challenges. Our staff continue to be available to help members navigate the questions you have and we are developing new ways to engage with members and to keep delivering HIA’s services and support.

For the latest Covid-19 updates, click here. 

Housing predictions and forecasts based on extensive industry data

HIA is Australia’s leading forecaster of housing construction activity. Our forecasting methodology is a robust mix of the macroeconomic fundamentals driving supply and demand with real-world data. This data is collected from our membership base of over 30,000 industry professionals who are responsible for over 80% of Australia’s residential construction work.

For Housing Outlook reports, click here. 

Economic Report

Our team of economists regularly release a range of publications which offer up-to-date analysis of activity and prospects for Australia’s new housing and renovation industries. As an industry leader in residential housing forecasting our forecasts, reports and analysis have been proven more accurate than those of any other provider. Our reports provide insightful data to help you with making business decisions for now and in the future. 

 

For more information, click here.

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