East Texans discuss soaring price of lumber, impact on homeowners

Lumber is fast becoming one of the hottest commodities out there as prices continue to break records.

East Texans discuss soaring price of lumber, impact on homeowners
Source: KTRE Staff (Source: KTRE Staff)

LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Around this time last year, items like toilet paper and paper towels were difficult to find. While most of those products have returned in stock, one item remains hard to come by and is stretching your wallet thin if you can find it.

Lumber is fast becoming one of the hottest commodities out there as prices continue to break records.

For many home builders, business is steady right now, but it’s lumber prices through the roof, that’s causing concern for those builders like Melvin Linton Jr.

“We have one particular house on Tulane we started on a year ago,” Linton Jr. said. “A few weeks back, we had that same exact house repriced with today’s prices of lumber, and that exact house was up exactly $22,863 more that what is was a year ago.”

According to the National Association of Home Builders, lumber prices are up more than 180% since last spring, adding about $24,000 more to build a new home.

“This here is going to consist of two-by-fours, two-by-sixes, your common two-by’s you’re going to see used for studs, joist and rafters,” Finley said.

Store Manager Tyler Finely says at McCoy’s Building Supply they’re also seen a price increase with paneling materials.

“One significant increase has been for OSB, that’s a real common material that you see for roof decking underneath your shingles,” Finley explained. “For a sheet of OSB, an item that was $10.50 last year, it’s over $40 this year right now.”

Experts attribute the high prices to a lumber supply shortage at mills and facilities that were not operating at 100% capacity due to the pandemic. They say demand is up from the shutdowns that led to a boost in home improvement projects and late last year more home constructions.

“Also, we had the two hurricanes last year,” Finley said. “We had the winter storm we had earlier this year has all caused further shortages.”

The Linton’s say they’ve had to make adjustments to offset the costs.

“We’re just having to shop extra hard to find stuff to be as competitive as what we can because it’s really driving the price of new construction up” Linton Jr. said.

“You’re not getting a lot more money for the house so it ultimately, the majority is coming out of our back pocket,” Melvin Linton III said.

The Linton’s say they are hopeful that later in the year prices will top out and ease down.

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