Lumber prices are up more than 180% since last spring, raising the price of an average new single-family over $24,000.
Originally posted at buildsteel.org
According to the Wall Street Journal, lumber prices have shot to fresh records, defying the normal winter slowdown in wood-product sales in a sign that the pandemic building boom is bowling into 2021.
The last week of February (2021), the Random Lengths Framing Lumber Composite price rose to $966 per thousand board feet, exceeding the $955 high set in September (2020).
Lumber futures have climbed 49% over the past three weeks, to more than twice the price a year earlier. Lumber for March (2021) settled Tuesday at $992.40 per thousand board feet, eclipsing a mark set in September (2020) as the highest closing price ever.
Cost of Single Family Home Increases $24,000
The National Association of Realtors reported that the median sale price of an existing home was almost $304,000 last month, up 14.1% from a year ago. The Marketplace states that one of the main factors in the price increase is the soaring cost of lumber. There are a lot of forces driving up the price of wood. COVID-related mill shutdowns and devastating wildfires have reduced the available supply, while demand for home-building and remodeling has only grown.
According to the National Association of Home Builder’s, the rising cost of lumber (up 180% since April 2020) has increased the cost of a single-family home by more than $24,000.
Contractors Seek Steel Alternatives
A recent poll conducted by Construction Magazine Network revealed that 75% of contractors are interested in or are already pursuing alternative materials – including steel framing.
Home Innovations Research Lab concluded that the spike in lumber prices is causing many builders to rethink alternatives to lumber — including the use of steel framing. Cold-formed steel framing for interior partition wall framing is perhaps the easiest-to-implement option, says Home Innovations. They anticipate seeing aspects of advanced framing grow in popularity, including steel framing, due to the rising price of lumber.