An economic-statistical analysis of lumber requirements for California housing
AuthorHenry J. Vaux
Author AffiliationsHenry J. Vaux was Lecturer in Forestry, Associate in the Agricultural Experiment Station, and Associate on the Giannini Foundation. Formerly Forest Economist, U. S. Forest Service.
Hilgardia 19(16):463-500. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v19n16p463. March 1950.
Residential construction normally accounts for almost half of the lumber consumed in California. A study of past trends of housing market demand, and an analysis of the factors underlying such trends, can therefore provide valuable guides toward insuring a reasonable balance between future supplies of forest products and future needs for them.
The demand for new residential structures in California during the period 1920-1941 was found to be closely correlated with the increase in population, levels of family income, the cost of new home ownership, and the available supply of housing. The quantity of lumber used per dwelling in the same period was influenced by size of dwelling, type of construction, and geographic location, and showed a decline with time which indicates the influences of substitute materials and of more economical methods of wood use. Lumber consumption for new residential construction in California averaged 1.2 billion board feet per year in the period 1920-1929, and 0.9 billion board feet per year in the period 1930-1939.
Under conditions of normal full employment, housing lumber requirements during the next two decades may be expected to range from 1.0 to 1.7 billion board feet per year. These figures correspond to minimum and maximum anticipated rates of population growth.
This paper is a summary of a dissertation under the same title submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of California, 1948. Much of the basic data on unit lumber requirements, and portions of the material on residential construction, were obtained as part of the Forest Survey in California, conducted by the California Forest and Range Experiment Station, U. S. Forest Service, maintained at Berkeley in coüperation with the California Agricultural Experiment Solution.
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