Price of lumber continues to skyrocket due in part to pandemic

If you're moving forward with that home improvement project, looking to purchase a home or build a new one, you better factor in the rising price of lumber. It's more than doubled since June of last year.

But why have lumber costs gone up?

"We had a period - late 2019, early 2020 - demand was down a little bit, inventories were down across the board. People were concerned about where the pandemic was going to leave the economy. And so dealers cut back, naturally, and so did producers and then we had a surge starting last spring and we were all caught a little flat footed. Production was down and we've been playin catch-up since," said Pete Meichtry, the Vice President of Purchasing for Ganahl Lumber Company.

The pandemic-induced lumber shortage has driven up the price of the building material. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the spike has caused the average price of a new single-family home to increase by more than $24,000 since this time last year.

"Let's say you're planning to start six months from now, you've got to budget for large increases by the time you start so it's a pretty tricky game these days," said Mark Houston, a design build contractor based in Los Angeles.

"People at home with time on their hands and some new found money they weren't spending somewhere else. So, they started looking a home projects like fencing and fixing up the inside of your house... like molding," said Meichtry.

Another reason for the shortage: high tariffs on imported lumber from Canada.

So when will this end? Home renovations and do it yourself projects are expected to continue during the coming months.

Ganahl Lumber Company believes there could be a softening of prices later this year.
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