Lumber prices are rising on a year-over-year basis, according to data gathered by the National Association of Home Builders. The price of Framing Lumber from Random Lengths is up by 20% from one year ago, and CME framing futures are up by about 40% YOY.
Framing lumber prices approached their pre-crisis (2004) peak in early 2013, a move that Calculated Risk Blog attributes to a surge in housing starts and supply constraints. As demand slowed and lumber supplies were able to increase supply, price increases slowed into 2014.
Prices fell year-over-year in 2015 despite an increase in U.S. housing starts. Calculated Risk attributes this fall to “weakness in China.” As of late 2016, prices are again on a year-over-year rise, up almost to early 2015 levels.