Lumber prices skyrocket nearly 250 percent, impacts local suppliers and buyers


ST. LOUIS – Lumber prices are up about 250% since April 2020, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Local suppliers and buyers are feeling the impact.

“We’re not getting lumber in a timely manner because of COVID and the mills can’t keep up with the orders coming in,” Steven Hatton, a distributor with 84 Lumber, said. “I haven’t seen anything like this.”

Hatton said part of the reason for the increased lumber prices is because lumber mills don’t have enough workers.

NAHB said the reason for the higher prices is increased demand and restrictions in supply because of a lack of domestic production and lumber mill cutbacks.

Hatton said 84 Lumber usually honors a quote for 30 days, but because of the volatile prices, they can’t honor a qoute for that amount of time right now.

“We’ll have people call in Monday and ask for a quote on a list and we’ll tell them, ‘Hey, you’ve got 7 days and it’s going to go up,'” he said.

One sheet of particle board used to cost around $10, currently the price is up to about $60

The NAHB said the spike in prices caused the price of an average single-family home to go up by more than $24,000.

Sarah Willie and her fiancée found the perfect lot for their new home in Pevely. Just days before paying their down payment, the cost of the home went up $3,000 within a few days just because of the price of lumber.

“A day or two before we got a call from our realtor telling us hey, before you sign this contract, the price went up on the house,” Willie said. “Had we chosen a bigger home to build, we obviously would not be building a home right now, because of the lovely lumber being all pricey.”

Hatton said no one is sure when the prices may return to normal.

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