Challenges We Faced in 2021: Building Materials Prices

Material Costs

The rising cost of building materials was one of the primary focus areas for NAHB in 2021 as the home-building industry struggled with the far-reaching impacts of skyrocketing prices.


The year began with a letter to the Biden administration that highlighted the sharp increases in costs for lumber and oriented strand board as “unsustainable, particularly in light of a continued housing affordability crisis.” NAHB called for an investigation as to “why production remains at such low levels during this period of high demand,” which has continued to remain an issue.

These costs have subsequently translated into higher housing costs, which have affected the buying capabilities of many prospective home buyers. Top stories on NAHBNow in 2021 identified the monetary impact to consumers, and provided resources to help address the negative impacts of such dramatic price increases:

As the year progressed, NAHB continued its advocacy efforts through outreach to Commerce Sec. Gina Raimondo, Agriculture Sec. Tom Vilsack, U.S. Forest Service Chief Victoria Christiansen and U.S. Trade Rep. Katherine Tai, among others. Framing lumber prices began dropping in the summer after a peak in May, but as noted in another top post for NAHBNow, actual pricing was slow to follow suit as lumber worked its way through the supply chain.

Pricing has begun to creep back up and expanded to other building materials, as supply-chain challenges continue to ravage the home-building industry. Top NAHBNow posts highlight just how severe costs have risen in the past year:

NAHB remains vigilant in addressing these issues — most recently meeting with Canadian officials to discuss lumber tariffs and testifying before the House Natural Resources Republican forum on supply-chain challenges — and will continue to do so in the year ahead to stabilize prices and supply.

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