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This is why it's been more expensive to update your home lately

The cost of lumber rose to historic highs in the summer, before cooling off some. Now they're surging again to close out the year, making housing more expensive.

It’s not just toilet paper, Lysol, and home sporting equipment. There are reports that due to the coronavirus pandemic, supply chain disruptions have hit the lumber industry.

The price of wood needed for real estate development soared, hitting a historic high in August. 

Then…TIMBERRRR! They came falling back down. 

But another growth spurt in prices has once again pushed lumber back toward its previous high.

Home projects, home building costing more

The increase in lumber prices affects everything from small home projects to brand new builds.

That includes if you are building a fence. Pressure treated wood was recently going for three times as much as it was at the beginning of the year, according to a write-up in The Wall Street Journal.

If you are updating your home, you may notice the difference as well. According to a recent survey circulated by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), 77% of remodelers have experienced lumber shortages. And when supply goes down, you can usually expect price to go up.

If you are building or buying a new home, the rising cost of lumber is especially impactful. The NAHB estimated that between mid-April and mid-August, the price of the average new house jumped $16,148 just because of more expensive wood. 

And again, we are approaching those August lumber prices again.

Price increases come as thousands of new homes are built in Texas 

Consider that in the last quarter, the major Texas metros that constitute the so-called ‘Texas Urban Triangle’ (comprised of Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin), a whopping 27,100 homes were being constructed.

A bunch of apartment units are going up in those locations as well. 

And all that housing is at risk of being decidedly less affordable than it would have been at the beginning of 2020 just because of lumber prices.

Because of the pricing trends, anyone building a home is advised to shop around, get multiple quotes, lock in a price, and perhaps even re-evaluate the building products you are planning to use.  

There could be some price relief. 

The NAHB is applauding the recent Trump Administration decision to cut its tariffs on Canadian lumber in half, but the organization is calling for a complete removal of the remaining tariff.


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