If you're not building a house right now you may not have notices how expensive lumber is. It is widely reported that a lumber shortage is looming especially pressure-treated pine and softwood framing lumber used in framing new home construction.

Several factors are contributing to the shortage including lockdown orders which began in 2020, a spike in new home construction, and the devastating wildfires that ravished the western states last year. This perfect storm has caused the cost of softwood lumber to rise 112% since a year ago, according to CapitolPress, and in some cases, an increase of 180% as reported by Fortune.

A monthly index that measures homebuilder confidence has fallen from its highs on concerns about the price of lumber. There is pressure from contractors and industry leaders for the White House to take action.

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The latest figures show that we can expect new home construction to cost between $14,000 and $24,000 more as lumber is in short supply - and getting tighter.

My wife and I began a large remodeling project in March of 2020 - not ideal timing. The supply lines for large amounts of lumber were already getting thinner and the price of wood was going up. We are thankful that we were able to stay with it and complete the project. Today, that would be a challenge to stay within budget.

How long will this last and when can we see prices and demand return to normal? That's a loaded question as no one sees the future. But Globest perhaps said it best:

"Overall, lumber prices will be higher in 2021 than in 2020. Still, average lumber prices in 2021 should be below the extreme peaks recorded in August 2020 and December 2020."

“The weirdness of (2020) backed up the whole forestry system." ~ Cindy Mitchell of the Washinton Forest Protection Association.

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