Randy Noel, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a custom home builder from LaPlace, La., issued the following statement after the NAHB leadership met today with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to discuss the growing problem of escalating lumber prices that are being exacerbated by tariffs on Canadian lumber imports into the U.S.:
“Today, we discussed with Secretary Ross our mutual concern that lumber prices have risen sharply higher than the tariff rate would indicate, and that this is hurting housing affordability in markets across the nation. Rising lumber prices have increased the price of an average single-family home by nearly $9,000 and added more than $3,000 to the price of the average multifamily unit.
“We applaud Secretary Ross for acknowledging the gravity of this situation and expressing a willingness to look into the possibility that factors other than the tariff may be manipulating the market.
“We also encouraged the secretary to return to the negotiating table with Canada. It is essential that the two sides resume talks and hammer out a long-term solution to this trade dispute that will ensure U.S. home builders have access to a stable supply of lumber at reasonable prices to keep housing affordable for hard-working American families.”