Here’s How Changing Lumber Prices Impact New Homebuyers, Renters

By Christina Estes
Published: Monday, July 19, 2021 - 5:15am
Updated: Monday, July 19, 2021 - 7:56am

home under construction
Sky Schaudt/KJZZ
A home under construction in north Phoenix in January 2021.

After hitting historic highs this spring, prices for framing lumber are falling. But other lumber products are getting more expensive and new homebuyers and renters are paying for it.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) says price increases in softwood lumber products add nearly $30,000 to an average new single-family home. That’s almost $6,000 less than three months ago. Renters are paying, on average, $92 more a month for a new apartment. NAHB estimates include various products sold by U.S. sawmills, including fiberboard, shakes and shingles.

While framing lumber prices are dropping, the NAHB said softwood plywood prices have increased more than 200% since last year, and oriented strand board prices have jumped nearly 500%. 

Demand for new homes and renovations combined with COVID-19 lockdowns and infections cut supplies short. 

Based on prices reported by Random Lengths on April 17, 2020, the NAHB found the total cost to a builder for all softwood lumber products was $16,927 for an average single-family home compared to $42,882 reported on July 8, 2021. Currently, Random Lengths prices for softwood lumber projects for an average multifamily home are $14,631 compared to $5,940 in April 2020.

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