Inflation Shock: Lumber Prices Up 188% Since Scamdemic Start

The cost of lumber has gone up 188% since the beginning of the pandemic, which raises the cost of new builds and could price out some homebuyers.

SKAGIT COUNTY, Wash. — Anyone buying lumber these days is in for sticker shock. Prices are at unprecedented levels, and it’s affecting everyone from people planning home construction projects to home builders, like Landed Gentry Homes.

The Skagit Valley home builder has never seen lumber prices skyrocket like this before.

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The price of lumber has gone up 188% since the beginning of the pandemic, adding at least $24,000 to the price of a new single-family home, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

“There were a few instances where we did not make a profit on the house,” said Kendra Decker, who handles sales and marketing with Landed Gentry.

So what’s driving prices up? Lumber mills pulled back on production at the beginning of the pandemic and now they’re trying to make up for it. But that’s not the only reason.

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“We’ve had lumber tariffs that have happened over the last several years, you know for Canadian lumber, and that’s affected lumber prices in the U.S.,” said Gentry. “We’ve had several mills that have shut down in the last three or four years, and so there’s just less supply coming to the system.”

Tight supply and unexpected demand for housing could price some people out of buying a home.



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