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Lumber prices soaring: How COVID plays a role

Posted at 6:27 PM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-18 19:27:08-04

The pandemic has changed the housing market and not always for the better.

Lumber prices have been on the rise since early summer 2020. A $400,000 home would see lumber prices go up by about $25,000.

NBC 26 talked with a builder about the rise:

“Nobody anticipated this happening,” said Brian Calmes, owner of Calmes Rohm Construction. “So, we were left trying to figure those situations out one by one. Now, when we're pricing a home, we're pricing it with the current prices and while they're still rising, it's not as significant as it was then. They're rising, and then they fall off a little bit."

Calmes attributes the prices to COVID. He believes that sawmills thought that usage and demand would taper off, so they slowed production, when in fact the demand actually increased, and they then couldn't catch up to demand. Sawmills and processing plants also had COVID outbreaks and had to close down for a period of time, which added to the shortage of lumber.