BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Lumber prices still historically high, may stay that way until late this year

May 12, 2021, 11:28 AM
home prices rural utah home...
Homebuyers and renovators are still dealing with record high lumber prices. A trend that experts say likely won’t fade any time soon. (PHOTO: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)
(PHOTO: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SATL LAKE CITY — Lumber prices remain at a record-high and experts say it will likely stay that way for a while. As costs continue to soar, Utah homeowners and homebuyers alike say they’re feeling the pinch right now.

Lumber prices continue to climb, no sign of change ahead

In fact, many people across the state are delaying projects until the cost of materials hopefully goes down. Although, unfortunately, experts are predicting that we could experience historically high prices until late this year.

“As with most things over the past year, the high prices can be traced back to the start of the pandemic,” David Logan, with the National Association of Home Builders, told the Deseret News. “Lumber mills, like other businesses, closed at the onset and they reopened but did not ramp up production enough to keep pace with home construction levels.”

In an effort to find some short-term remedy, the National Association of Home Builders asked President Biden and leaders with the U.S. Department of Commerce to look into ways to enhance the lumber supply chain.

Workers, homeowners impacted by the high costs

Until some solution is unearthed, everyday people like Caleb Williams will be directly impacted. He is a manager at Burton Lumber’s Lindon location.

“It’s a unique and unprecedented time,” he told KSL-TV. “It’s a volatile market that changes almost daily. We’ve never seen anything like this and never expected it.”

He added that it’s pretty normal right now for framers to split the cost increase with clients. It’s intended to minimize the impact of soaring prices, although it still results in a pretty big hit for both sides.

For context, the cost per 1,000 board feet earlier this month was around $1,635. Going back just one year, to May 2020, the price was roughly $343, resulting in almost a $1,300 increase in one calendar year.

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Lumber prices still historically high, may stay that way until late this year