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'It's going to negatively impact economic recovery:' Home builders struggle with soaring lumber prices

Posted at 7:09 PM, Mar 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 20:09:30-05

Any good home has good bones all the way down to the framing, which is commonly made of lumber. Like most other businesses, lumber mills are still trying to build their stockpile after closing due to COVID-19.

With the demand high and supply still on the rebound, home builders say lumber prices have skyrocketed.

“Whether it's the lumber supplier or Lowe's and Home Depot, the price can fluctuate overnight. It's definitely taken a toll,” said Song Pack, owner of Park Quality Homes.

Park says he has had to make adjustments to current builds because the price was getting too high for homeowners. He explains decorative beams and fencing are things that he has been modifying to save on costs.

“I’ve been very conservative, so I haven't been really starting any, any new projects unless they're custom homes,” Park said.

The National Association of Home Builders says the average price of a single-family home has increased by $24,000 since last year due to lumber costs.

The National Association of Home Builders reporter 90% of builders have trouble getting lumber and other building materials.

With a nonprofit that depends heavily on lumber, Ken Cates, CEO of the Fort Hood Area Habitat for Humanity, says the lack of lumber will directly impact his ability to serve the community.

“Now I’m having to reduce how many homes I can build because of this, which impacts the number of families that have already completed most of their requirements. It is devastating the housing market, and it's going to further negatively impact economic recovery," said Cates.

The soaring cost of lumber is yet another obstacle his team is working to overcome. Since the pandemic began, Cates says his donations have dropped by over 50%, which has directly impacted his ability to build homes for people in our community.

"You stack all these increases in pricing just to build a home on top of. We've lost 60% of our financial donations from the community," he said.

The lumber shortage is also impacting products, like the cost cabinets and fencing.