I researched the relationship between lumber price trends in Japan and housing starts statistics (June 2021).

I’m Yamaken (@yama_architect).
In this blog, I provide trivia about architecture, urban planning, and real estate.

Lumber Price Trends

Source: Statistics on Wood Products, Wholesale Price of Products by Item and Standard.(https://www.maff.go.jp/j/tokei/kouhyou/mokuzai/

The graph above is the “Wood Product Statistics” released by the Forestry Agency.

For Japanese cypress, the price rose from 87,100 yen per m3 in March 2021 to 122,100 yen per m3 in June 2021 (1.4 times).As for “American pine,” it rose from 62,100 yen in September 2020 to 94,800 yen in June 2021 (1.5 times).Japanese cedar has risen from 65,600 yen in December 2020 to 111,800 yen (1.7 times).

The amount of wood used per square meter of floor area is about 0.19 m3 (excluding plywood). So, if we were to use about 20m3 of cedar for a floor area of 100㎡, the wholesale price would increase by 1 million yen. Therefore, it is likely to be greatly reflected in the selling price of the house.

If it continues to rise at this rate, I think it will head towards doubling compared to the previous year.However, lumber futures in Chicago have calmed down a lot, or rather, they have been crashing, so I think they will regain their composure soon. However, this is only for the U.S. and Europe, and I think the impact on Japan will be prolonged.(https://fortune.com/2021/07/07/lumber-prices-2021-chart-update-july-price-of-lumber-falling-wood-costs/

This is because even though lumber production in Japan is running at full capacity, it is difficult to suddenly start running at full capacity now because the situation has been so bad. Also, there is no reason why only the supply of wood to Japan should recover. (I have a feeling that wood will flow to other countries with higher incomes…)

It is also likely to have a significant impact not only on housing, but also on furniture.

Impact on Housing Starts Statistics

At this time (May 2021), there has been no impact on housing starts or prices.

Each of the housing construction companies seems to have secured a certain amount of inventory. Reflecting this, as you can see, there has been no significant change over the past year in the average amount of planned housing construction per square meter of floor space for single-family detached houses (wooden) in the “Housing Starts Statistics.

However, we have started to hear news that housing prices will have to be raised soon, and I think this will be reflected in the housing start statistics from the summer. (*This article will be updated as needed.)

Source: Housing Starts Statistics

That’s it for the article. I will update it next month when the statistics are released.

See you soon~!