Since mid-April 2020, the composite price of lumber, per Random Lengths, has soared more than 170%. This surge is adding approximately $16,000 to the price of a new single-family home and more than $6,000 to the average new apartment, according to the latest NAHB economic analysis.
These sharp increases threaten the affordability of new homes and the housing sector, which is leading the nation’s economic recovery.
The escalating lumber prices in recent months are due to the fact that there is not enough domestic production. Many mills reduced production due to stay-at-home orders and social distancing measures enacted by state and local governments at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Mill operators projected that housing would be adversely affected by the crisis and anticipated a large drop in demand. But housing weathered the storm much better than was predicted, and demand for lumber has accelerated.
NAHB continues to seek prompt action from the Administration by calling on domestic lumber producers to ramp up production to ease growing shortages and making it a priority to work with Canada on a new softwood lumber agreement that would end tariffs averaging more than 20% on Canadian lumber shipments into the U.S. market.