Skyrocketing Lumber Costs Drive Up Price of a New Home


There is a shortage of lumber, and so prices are going up.

The National Association of Homebuilders says those increased costs are adding $24,000 to the price of a newly constructed home relative to last year, mostly impacting first time buyers.

“It’s not just builders,” says Jim Dutton, host of KTRH weekend program Texas Home Improvement. “It’s remodelers, do-it-yourselfers. Everybody is feeling the impact.”

Dutton explains that during the pandemic builders were able to keep construction going and homes were still being built with lumber inventory, but all it took was one positive test among workers at a saw mill for the blades to come to screeching halt and production to be disrupted. Any building materials produced by a manufacturing plant were at the same whims of the virus so there are rising costs for many building supplies.“There are shortages right now on almost everything,” Dutton adds.

In addition to added lumber costs, those first time home buyers are coming into the market after mortgage interest rates have been climbing upward for five consecutive weeks. They may have missed their cheapest buying opportunity.

Dutton says because of the pricing volatility general contractors can’t guarantee their quoted price for a project for an extended duration because of the unpredictability of increases.

Listen to Jim Dutton and Texas Home Improvement weekends on KTRH, Saturday 2 to 4 and Sunday 2 to 3.

photo: Getty Images

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