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04/29/2021

Lumber prices adding nearly $36,000 to new single-family home

Soaring lumber costs have added nearly $13,000 to the market value of an average new multifamily home.
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In February, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported that high lumber prices were adding more than $23,000 to the average cost of a new home.

The association has now revised that figure saying that the average new single-family home price has increased by $35,872. 

This figure is based on analysis from the NAHB’s economic team, which cites the price of lumber tripling in the past 12 months.

Additionally, soaring lumber prices have added nearly $13,000 to the market value of an average new multifamily home, translating into households paying $119 a month more to rent a new apartment. 

Pointing to the latest Random Lengths prices as of the week ending on April 23, the NAHB says the price of framing lumber near $1,200 per board feet — up nearly 250% since last April when the price was roughly $350 per thousand board feet.

The NAHB said that it calculated these average home price increases based on the softwood lumber that goes into the average new home, as captured in the Builder Practices Survey conducted by Home Innovation Research Labs. This includes any softwood used in structural framing such as beams, joists, headers, rafters, and trusses. 

Also taken into account are sheathing, flooring and underlayment, interior wall and ceiling finishing, cabinets, doors, windows, roofing, siding, soffit and fascia, and exterior features such as garages, porches, decks, railing, fences and landscape walls.

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The NAHB says it continues to take action against lumber prices. Here are several recent initiatives from the association:

  • NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke and First Vice Chairman Jerry Konter held in-person and virtual meetings with congressional leaders earlier this month to urge them to address rising lumber prices and to take steps to ensure an adequate supply of lumber and other building materials to stem rising housing costs.
  • In an effort led by NAHB, more than 35 organizations recently sent a joint letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo calling on her to “examine the lumber supply chain, identify the causes for high prices and supply constraints, and seek immediate remedies that will increase production.”
  • NAHB sent letters to President Biden, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, U.S. Forest Service Chief Victoria Christiansen and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai seeking prompt action to address this issue that is a growing threat to housing and the economy.
  • NAHB remains in close contact with the White House and will be meeting with top administration officials later this week to discuss the lumber situation.
  • At the same time, we continue to reach out to lumber producers, other policymakers and the media calling on lumber mills to increase production to meet growing housing demand.
  • NAHB has saturated the media with its message on the need to act on soaring lumber prices and how it is hurting home buyers, home builders, the housing industry and the economy. NAHB CEO Jerry Howard delivered this message in an April 22 appearance on Fox Business, Cavuto: Coast-to-Coast. The same day NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz discussed rising material prices on NPR Marketplace. Additionally, Fortune, Bloomberg, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business online and the Associated Press have mentioned or quoted NAHB on the impact of rising lumber prices. 
  • NAHB is also seeking swift action on the trade front. Tariffs on Canadian lumber shipments into the U.S. are exacerbating price volatility and increasing housing costs.