Madison County home builders react to lumber price increases

The price has increased nearly 190%.

Posted: Apr 21, 2021 9:08 PM
Updated: Apr 21, 2021 11:24 PM

The increasing price of lumber is rising at an alarming rate and not slowing down any time soon.

Research shows since last March, the price has increased nearly 190%, and this could have a major impact on home-buyers.

"On average, in a 2,000-square-foot house, just the lumber package has gone up $25,000," said Barry Oxley.

Barry Oxley is with the Huntsville-Madison County Home Builders Academy. WAAY 31 spoke with him about why these prices are so high.

Coronavirus, the fires in the Midwest and just high demand are all to blame for why the cost of this wood is so much more expensive.

Oxley told WAAY 31 there is a light at the end of this tunnel, but it's just another adjustment home builders and​ new home-buyers will have to take into consideration.

"A year ago, lumber per thousand feet was about $400. Today, it's about $1,300 per thousand feet," said Oxley.

Oxley told us there's a bit of leeway with the cost thanks to builders and construction companies but​​ not a whole lot.

"As builders, we try to consume as much of that cost increase as we can, but to be honest, the price increase has been dramatic and there's no way that some of that price increase doesn't get passed on to the consumers," said Joey Ceci.

Ceci is the spokesman for the Breland Homes company. He and Oxley told us demand is another huge factor for these price jumps.

Due to low interest rates, more people are looking to buy a house and more construction sites are popping up.

They both say they want to give the consumer whatever they desire for a home, but with costs so high for materials, you'll have to be flexible.

"It makes them either possibly not be able to buy the house or they can't have some of the options on the house that they would want, or have to cut back on furnishings," said Ceci.

No one is entirely sure how long this price hike will last, but Oxley is hoping by the end of the year, we can start seeing the rate of lumber flatten out. No matter, he says if the demand is there, they will keep building.

"We have builders, re-modelers ready to go out there and do projects for people. It might just take 3 or 4 months longer than what you normally would have, but everything can still be done," said Oxley.

Oxley told us the housing market is not only affected by this, but so are the factories and mills that help make the lumber. Due to COVID, they had to limit the number of people able to work, and now the demand is stronger than ever.

Oxley said he wants everyone to just stay patient.

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