Lumber prices increased 14.9% in August, marking the largest four-month gain since such data was first recorded in 1949 and the second-largest gain since seasonally adjusted data became available in 1975.
The National Association of Home Builders reports on its NAHBNow blog that such a sharp increase has put unnecessary pressure on home owners and builders alike to figure out how to close the gap.
Last month, NAHB said the cost of a new home has increased by $16,000 due to rising lumber prices.
Former NAHB Chairman Randy Noel, a custom home builder from LaPlace, La., received a lumber quote early this month for more than $28,000 — twice what he had paid for the same lumber on a comparable project in February 2019. Oriented strand board alone, which Noel’s company uses frequently in its projects, had increased from $7.50 per sheet to $26 per sheet.
Because the homes have already been sold, Noel is looking toward alternative building materials, such as steel, to help minimize the cost increases. Not all builders will be able to close the gap, though.
Builders groups and The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association have sent letters to President Trump urging him to address the critical issue of skyrocketing lumber prices.
See more at NAHB’s NAHBNow blog.