Lumber Prices Begin To Settle After Record Highs During The Pandemic

Monday, July 12th 2021, 10:56 am

In May, lumber prices hit an unfathomable all-time high of more than $1,600 per thousand board feet.

Before the pandemic, lumber never rose higher than about $600, but now, it's finally returning to normal.

Early in the pandemic, no one was buying new homes and new construction halted.

Late last year, everyone started buying homes, and new construction chewed up all the wood on the market.

Prices inflated because of extremely tight supply.

That drove family home prices up, too, about $36,000 on average.

Interior lumber like cabinets, furniture and baseboard prices inflated, too.

"People were sent home from their jobs, and many decided to do home renovation projects, and we saw an increase of business last April, May, June, and July," said Casey Pollan with Phoenix Hardwood & Plywood.

The excellent news is prices are resetting.

In July, lumber per thousand board feet dropped to $700 for the first time since December 2019.

Consumers will continue to see high prices in stores for a while.

"We didn't see the increase and short supply until this year, and we have probably seen across the board a 30% increase," said Pollan.

It takes time for supply chains to catch up and demand to settle.

Based on current price trends, lumber could return to pre-pandemic costs as early as September.


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