Lumber prices are soaring once again: Following a dip last spring and summer, they have nearly tripled over the past four months.
Builders say that increase has caused the price of an average new single-family home to rise by more than $18,600. It has also added nearly $7,300 to the price of an average new multifamily home, translating into $67 a month more in rent for a new apartment, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
Price volatility for lumber started in April 2020 when the pandemic prompted a reduction in production at sawmills. The surge in demand in the housing market with new-home construction and remodeling sparked shortages. Lumber prices reached a record of $1,500 per thousand board feet in May 2021.
Ongoing supply chain disruptions, the doubling of tariffs on Canadian lumber imports, and the wildfire season in the western United States and British Columbia have kept lumber prices high, the NAHB says. The price of framing lumber was $1,000 per thousand board feet on Dec. 29—a 167% increase since late August.
Lumber is used throughout the building process, from the structural framing, sheathing, flooring, interior walls and ceiling finishes, cabinets, doors, siding, garages, porches, railing, fences, and more.
The NAHB has been calling on lawmakers to help resolve lumber pricing and other building material supply chain disruptions that are raising construction costs and hampering housing affordability.