Rising lumber prices

Since 2020, Lumber prices have risen a whopping 135%. This has pushed the average price of a single family home up by 18,000 dollars. This rise is due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused sawmills to decrease their labor and production. Meanwhile they were met with increased demand which they were unable to match. Since then, supply chain disruptions, a recent rise in tariffs for Canadian lumber imports, a ferocious wildfire season, and Russia’s attack on Ukraine, have kept lumber prices stubbornly high .

This instability has caused major headaches for contractors and homeowners alike; so when will lumber prices go down? While lumber prices have actually fallen to just over 1,000 dollars per thousand board feet in the past few days, experts are wary of predicting long term relief. 

Factors of rising lumber prices

There are so many extenuating factors that will impact further lumber prices and not all of them are easy to predict. A possible resurgence of COVID-19 from the BA-2 variant in the United States could bring about more restrictions and put further pressure on labor and supply. China’s zero covid policy may decrease demand for construction materials, which could either decrease the cost of lumber and provide relief. It could also put even more pressure on the industry which would have to replace the goods that would have come out of China. 

Additionally, Russia is the world’s largest exporter of lumber, and our trade relationship has been severed due to Russia’s attack on Ukraine. This will likely result in more expensive lumber materials in the U.S. As if all of that weren’t enough, experts predict another extreme wildfire season across the U.S, which could slow down transportation of materials and potentially destroy goods.

Will lumber prices go down this year?

All of these conditions have all set the stage for 2022 to be another volatile year in the markets, including in lumber. According to Newsweek.com, as long as there is a high demand for lumber, prices will remain high. Since there are many unpredictable variables, housing experts predict that the price of lumber will continue to rise throughout the rest of 2022, even if they temporarily decrease.

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