With lumber prices continuing to soar, NAHB chairman Chuck Fowke is urging President Biden and Congress to help mitigate the growing threat to housing and the economy by encouraging domestic lumber producers to ramp up production and make it a priority to end tariffs on Canadian lumber shipments into the U.S. The price spikes are not only sidelining potential buyers during a time of high demand, they are also causing many sales to fall through and forcing builders to put projects on hold.

Alicia Huey, a high-end custom home builder from Birmingham, Alabama, and second vice chairman of NAHB, said that the price of her lumber framing package on an identically-sized home has more than doubled over the past year from $35,000 to $71,000. “This increase has definitely hurt my business,” she said. “I’ve had to absorb much of this added cost and even put some construction on hold because I would be losing money by moving forward.”

“Appraisers are not taking rising lumber costs into account, which is disrupting home sales and preventing closings,” added NAHB Third Vice Chairman Carl Harris, a custom builder from Wichita, Kansas.

Housing has been an economic bright spot amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but the industry’s potential to lead the economy forward is limited as long as lumber remains expensive and scarce. A recent survey of NAHB members reveals that 96 percent said that inconsistent access to building materials are their most urgent concern. In turn, supply shortages are leading to soaring prices. And it’s not just skyrocketing lumber prices that builders are dealing with. The price of oriented strand board has more than tripled since last April.

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