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Tue May 4, 2021, 06:00 PM

Lumber is through the ROOF! [View all]

Lumber mania is sweeping North America

A lumber frenzy has taken over homebuilding, Home Depot, and the internet.

https://www.vox.com/22410713/lumber-prices-shortage

While the memes are a joke, the situation is real: Demand for lumber has exploded in recent months, and suppliers have struggled to keep up. Much of the industry has been on its heels since the Great Recession, and it slowed down production accordingly. Those sawmill closures and such arenít easy to reverse, even if someone might have predicted things would pick up now.

Prices have, in turn, skyrocketed. For years, the price of 1,000 board feet of lumber has generally traded in the $200 to $400 range. Itís now well above $1,000. (One board foot is 12x12x1 inches, and the average new single-family home takes about 16,000 board feet of lumber to construct.) A new house that would have cost $10,000 in wood to get off the ground a couple of years ago now costs $40,000 worth of wood ó assuming, that is, you can even get your hands on the lumber.

ďNot only has it surprised me, itís just surprised the whole industry, how quickly we came roaring back. Housing and construction, repair and remodel, thatís where so much money was pointed by American consumers that the sheer scale of demand was hard to fathom,Ē Stinson Dean, CEO of Deacon Lumber, a lumber trading company based in Missouri, told me.

ďItís adding about $36,000 to the price of a typical newly built home and almost $13,000 to a typical apartment,Ē said Robert Dietz, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders.

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