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Timber continues modest, steady improvement

by Reg Clodfelter

NCREIF has released the third quarter results from its Timberland Index, and while the 1.05 percent return is still moderate, it was the best third quarter since before the global financial crisis, in third quarter 2007, when the index returned 3.90 percent. The Timberland Index has experienced modest yet steady returns, and is projected to continue that path as the U.S. housing market continues its recovery and Chinese demand for imported lumber continues. This quarter saw a year-over-year increase in total return of 30 basis points, and a return that was triple the 0.35 percent seen in third quarter 2011. The rolling four quarter return is 9.68 percent, split between 2.79 percent income and 6.74 percent appreciation, which is more than four times the 2.25 percent rolling four quarter return from just a year ago. The Lake States performed at more than double the national level with a return of 2.29 percent.

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