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Why is lumber so expensive?


Why is lumber so expensive?

Any DIY-er or contractor will tell you that the price of building materials-particularly lumber, has shot through the roof. Historically, lumber traded in the $200 to $400 per thousand board feet (mbf). However, since 2018, supply and demand factors have sent proves skyward. It is a case of supply shortages at the time of unprecedented demand.

The supply problem originates in western Canada because of an infestation of the mountain pine beetle. The outbreak was controlled but now it will take at least ten years to restore the woodlots. The other issue is production, when lumber was cheap. It put several sawmills out of business and now there is a shortage of mills to process the lumber.

The website, Open Markets says  demand is not just increasing for new housing – it is increasing for home renovations as well. “Overall, the net demand for renovations feels very strong with so many people spending the majority of their time at home. People aren’t spending money on vacations, restaurants, and events, so it seems they are putting into their homes,” said Jeff Mayra, owner of Relevant Homes.

So far, 2021 prices have already ranged from $650/mbf to over $1,000/mbf

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