Lumber Is More Expensive Than Ever Before Lumber Is More Expensive Than Ever Before

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – As the housing market soars, new construction seems to be the answer to accommodate demand. The COVID-19 pandemic has also led current homeowners to pour money into a number of home improvement projects.  However, the price of lumber is hitting a new high almost daily and making these ventures far more costly.

An analysis by the National Association of Homebuilders shows the average cost of a single-family home has increased by $35,872 due to inflated lumber prices.  The wood products industry tracking firm Random Lengths says lumber prices have increased 67% this year and 340% from just one year ago.

Luke Adelstein is a Syracuse University student and former employee of Northeast Building Supply where he saw firsthand how the pandemic affected customers.

“We’d have customers come in, contractors, they’d be looking for all sorts of boards for their clients and we simply had to tell them either we don’t have it or you can go try another lumberyard but the prices may be four times what it normally is because you know as soon as we will get a shipment in from one of our vendors we will be sold out of it within the next two days,” Adelstein said.

Companies like Resolute Forest Inc. have even begun taking orders for wood that exceeds their inventory and restarted idle mills to increase production. 

Pennsylvania native Olivia Bongiovi worked as a Lowes cashier over the summer and was surprised at the amount of money people were willing to spend on lumber.

“I do remember a couple times ringing what seemed to me not that many pieces and it was like over thousand dollars.  I’m like you couldn’t build anything with this,” she said.

The demand remains high as consumers seem to be willing to pay steep prices to buy the wood they need.  Industry experts believe we will see prices begin to decline over the next year as production increases.


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