Lumber prices skyrocket nearly 250%, impacts suppliers and buyers

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – Lumber prices are up about 250% since April 2020, according to the National Association of Home Builders, and suppliers and buyers are feeling the impact.

“We’re not getting lumber in a timely manner because of COVID, and the mills can’t keep up with the orders coming in,” said Steven Hatton, a distributor with 84 Lumber. “I haven’t seen anything like this.”

Hatton said part of the reason for the higher lumber prices is that lumber mills don’t have enough workers.

NAHB said the higher prices are a result of increased demand and restrictions in supply because of a lack of domestic production and lumber mill cutbacks.

Hatton said 84 Lumber usually honors a quote for 30 days, but because of the volatile prices, they can’t honor a quote for that amount of time right now.

“We’ll have people call in Monday and ask for a quote on a list and we’ll tell them, ‘Hey, you’ve got seven days, and it’s going to go up,'” he said.

One sheet of particle board used to cost around $10. Now, the price is up to about $60.

The NAHB said the spike in prices caused the price of an average single-family home to increase by more than $24,000.

Sarah Willie and her fiancée found the perfect lot for their new home in Pevely, Missouri, approximately 30 miles south of St. Louis. Just days before paying their down payment, the cost of the home went up by $3,000 within a few days because of the price of lumber.

“A day or two before we got a call from our realtor telling us, ‘Hey, before you sign this contract, the price went up on the house,'” Willie said. “Had we chosen a bigger home to build, we obviously would not be building a home right now, because of the lovely lumber being all pricey.”

Hatton said no one is sure when the prices may return to normal.

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