It’s the end of 2022 and lumber prices are almost back to where they were before the pandemic started. When Covid-19 struck the United States in 2020 it affected nearly every aspect of American life. The lumber industry was particularly hit hard, with more people doing projects on their own while at home, and an industry-wide worker shortage. At one point, in the spring of 2021, lumber was costing on average $1500 for 1000 feet of board. However, as the economy has improved over the past several months, lumber has plummeted in price and is almost back to its pre-pandemic levels. Last month, prices were averaging close to $450 per 1000 feet of board.
While this trend is expected to continue into the new year, it may be short-lived. Moving into the summer, industry experts expect that demand will surge as individuals get back to the projects they’d put on hold because of the rising prices. Plus, there will be a backed-up demand from home builders who are constructing affordable housing around the country.
At the same time, younger millennials are projected to buy new homes in large supply starting in early 2023. With the market being tight around the country, there may be more new home builds than there have been in recent years, when building has slowed to a crawl. The age of American homes may also play a factor. Almost two-thirds of homes were built over 25 years ago. That means that many will need to be renovated in the coming years.
Stocks remain low in North America, meaning as the demand rises, so will prices. While lumber prices are currently decreasing there will be another uptick before long, even if it isn’t as severe as it was during 2021. Americans who are planning on remodel projects, renovations, or building their new modern homes may want to act fast to lock in their lumber purchases before they are priced out again.