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NAHB works to address rising lumber prices

June 4, 2021

Lumber prices have more than quadrupled since April 2020 and this has caused the price of an average new single-family home to increase by $35,872, according to a recent report by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) economics team.

Skyrocketing lumber prices have added nearly $13,000 to the market value of an average new multifamily home, which translates into households paying $119 a month more to rent a new apartment.

In a recent report to NAHB state representatives, including Washington’s state rep Nick Scheel, the association shared its continued work with the White House, Congress and lumber producers to increase production and bring prices lower.

NAHB Senior Officers gain support from Commerce Secretary

In a May 28 meeting with NAHB Senior Officers, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo pledged the full support of the Biden administration to resolve the lumber crisis.

Raimondo pledged to work with all stakeholders to “identify targeted actions the government or industry can take to address supply chain constraints.”

Congressional support grows

NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke and First Vice Chairman Jerry Konter held in-person and virtual meetings with congressional leaders in mid-April to urge them to address rising lumber prices and to take steps to ensure an adequate supply of lumber and other building materials to stem rising housing costs.

House and Senate lawmakers are calling for action on the lumber front and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai recently told lawmakers that she would “push for solutions to the lumber pricing issues.” 

From coast-to-coast, NAHB members supported Bringing Housing Home by holding more than 140 in-district meetings with their lawmakers to seek action on the lumber price crisis.

What’s behind soaring lumber prices?

NAHB reports these unprecedented lumber price hikes can be attributed to several things:

  • Many mills reduced production last spring due to stay-at-home orders and social distancing measures enacted by state and local governments at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • When it became clear in the ensuing months that housing weathered the storm much better than predicted and demand remained strong, lumber mills did not ramp up production accordingly.
  • Moreover, producers did not anticipate the massive uptick in demand from do-it-yourselfers and big-box retailers during the pandemic.
  • Finally, the extreme lumber price volatility has been exacerbated by tariffs on Canadian lumber imports into the U.S. market.

Other NAHB Actions

In addition to the items above, NAHB has taken the following actions since President Biden was sworn into office in January and the new 117th Congress was seated:

Webinar series to focus on navigating lumber, supply chain challenges

Earlier this month, NAHB announced it is hosting a webinar series starting June 8 to help members and other industry professionals understand the current challenges with escalating lumber prices and supply chain issues. The series will also teach how to develop strategies to adapt to this rising cost environment.

While NAHB continues its work on policy solutions, these sessions will help builders take action now to manage the impact.

The webinars are free for NAHB members, and replays will be available for all registrants.

Learn more and register at

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