Where Have All the Saw Mills Gone?
April 24, 2018
It is early, still dark and I am tapping away again. Sitting in the kitchen watching the pink sky reveal the day is the perfect way to start the morning. Watching the sunrise and slowly starting your day is one of my favorite things to do.
It is not lost on me that a few of my readers (all seven of you) have asked me why I am not keeping up with the Blog. Fair question. Perhaps I just have not had anything compelling to share or perhaps I have just had too much to share and did not know where to start. I prefer the latter thought, but we can all take comfort in knowing that I will again return to my duties as the rambling land broker/blogger today.
As many of you know, Land Group works with buyers and sellers on a lot of timberland in Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. In fact, we represent more than 25,000 acres on the peninsula currently. Throughout our work with timberland, one of the most repeated questions is “Where Have All the Saw Mills Gone?” This question is not to be confused with Paula Cole’s 1997 one hit wonder “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone”. You are welcome for that reference, as we know that song will be in the back of your mind for the rest of the day or evening.
While Ms. Cole’s heart aching lyrics ask for the return of her “John Wayne”, this question regarding the saw mills creates painful emotions but one rooted more in economics (no pun intended) for the timberland owner today.
To the timberland owner on the Delmarva Peninsula the basic outcome from the loss or consolidation of mills on the Peninsula is reduced demand for wood from local buyers. We all learned in economics the basic idea that demand and supply curves create a price for a given resource. Currently we are very low on the demand curve while supply continues grow. This has created considerable downward pressure on price to the timberland owner on the Delmarva and regionally timber on the Delmarva can be valued 3 to 4 times less than competing markets.
Over the next few weeks, I will be focused on bringing some light to this issue for those of you interested in the timberland market on the Delmarva. Please rush back each week as I will work to do a weekly post on this topic, as I believe it is an important part of understanding our land market on the the Delmarva. The references to music from the 90’s is for free.
Hope you can find a good place to get outside today and enjoy what is looking like a beautiful day on the Delmarva. Be Well.