Lumber prices continue to soar nationwide, driving up cost of new homes

The rise in lumber prices is driving up the cost of new homes

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unexpected effect on the home building market, with lumber prices soaring this summer and into the fall.

The National Association of Homebuilders reported this week that lumber prices increased 14.9% in August. NAHB says that’s the largest four-month gain since the data was first recorded in 1949.

NAHB says the spike in softwood lumber prices has increased the price of an average new home by $16,148 since April 17th.

The association says the increase has put “unnecessary pressure on home owners and builders” to close to the gap.

The NAHB has been writing about this topic since the pandemic began forcing lockdowns and construction shutdowns in March. It was due, in part, to lumber mills shutting down temporarily to comply with stay-home orders.

The industry also notes the increase in home improvement projects for driving up demand.

Still, people are choosing to build new homes. While new home construction dipped briefly in April, it has continued to grow nationwide. NAHB says builder confidence in the market for newly-built single family homes is up to an all-time high in September.

RELATED STORY: Housing market surging in Spokane despite Covid-19 pandemic