Commerce Secretary Pledges Support on Lumber Price Issue
WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Commerce Dept. officials have “acknowledged” the impact of lumber price hikes on the residential construction industry and will work with the nation’s home builders to address the issue, the National Association of Home Builders said yesterday.
According to the NAHB, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and NAHB CEO Jerry Howard discussed working together on convening a summit that would include representatives from the U.S. government, the lumber supply chain, and the homebuilding industry.
“Commerce Secretary Raimondo understands that high lumber costs are adding tens of thousands of dollars to the price of a new home,” said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke. “She heard our stories and acknowledged that she is concerned, and that President Biden is concerned, about the effect of the lumber price problem on the broader economy.”
“There is a disconnect between lumber supply and housing demand,” said NAHB First Vice Chairman Jerry Konter. “U.S. sawmill output increased 3.3% in 2020, but over the same period, single-family construction increased 12% and the remodeling market expanded 7%. We feel this mismatch between domestic production and rising demand for building materials is at the root of the unsustainable increases in lumber prices.”
According to the Washington, DC-based NAHB, lumber prices have more than quadrupled since April 2020, adding nearly $36,000 to the price of a new home (and) “pricing millions of middle-class households out of the market at a level they previously could afford.”
The NAHB said it requested that Commerce Dept. officials advocate for more effective forest management goals from U.S. national forests to help ease the current shortage, and push for a lasting softwood lumber agreement with Canada.