Saunders points to another market force that is lending to the growing popularity of engineered wood: The industry, he notes, has done a good job of educating both contractors and consumers about the products.
The new Market Outlook also reports that the strength in multifamily construction is expected to continue over the next few years until it peaks at approximately 570,000 units by the end of the decade. That will lend to a steady demand for engineered wood products by apartment and condominium
builders, even as the recovery in single-family starts remains “frustrated” by inevitable mortgage rate increases.
And LBM dealers could see more home-improvement contractors in their stores over the next few years, as the repair and remodeling market, which has been on the rise since 2010, continues its recovery, according to the outlook.
The forecast also points to growing strength in commercial building, with increased activity in lodging and low-rise construction expected for the next three to five years.
APA’s report notes that glulam output was expected to increase by 5% in 2015 and by 25% by 2020. LVL production, which was expected to end 2015 up just 2%, is projected to grow 13% in 2016 and reach 86 million cubic feet by 2020.
On the other hand, I-joist production in the first half of 2015 dipped 5.5% from the year before, after the product’s market share fell in 2014 by 3% in raised floor applications and by 4% in multifamily construction. Still, the outlook forecasts a boost in I-joist production over next three to five years as construction picks up, although it is likely to remain approximately 32% below the peak levels of 10 years ago.
Overall, the report offers good news. LBM dealers can expect increased business between now and next year, with continued recovery in homebuilding, multifamily construction, and low-rise commercial construction.