Local home builders see continued impacts from rising lumber prices

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(KTVE/KARD) Lumber, it’s used to build and even rebuild our homes, businesses and other buildings. The price of this commodity is skyrocketing over the last year, and now consumers are paying for it.

In Louisiana, most lumber now costs at least 3 to 4 times more than they used to, with some parts of the country paying 10 times as much as the prior year. At one point, it cost $7.50 for a piece of plywood used for roofing; now, the cost is $40-45 and these costs are now being passed along to new homebuyers.

“A 2500 square foot home is going to be about $25,000 more” says Brian Allen, Owner of Braco Construction

Allen builds local homes in the ArkLaMiss. He says low interest rates are causing a low supply, high demand scenario for lumber, and that’s the main reason for this increase. The pandemic has also been contributing to the price tag,

“When the interest rates start to rise, I certainly think, hopefully before that happens we’ll see these prices level out and start to come down. Then as the interest rate rises, demand will go down, hopefully supply will go up, and we’ll meet back somewhere that will hopefully be efficient for everyone” Allen says.

He also says prices of pipes, wiring and other hardware are also increasing. Despite all of this, Braco construction has remained busy. Allen is also on the board for the Louisiana Homebuilders Association and they are looking into why prices are as high as they are, even with increased demand.

“The land owners are not making more money on the timber they’re selling, the loggers are not making more money, for taking the timber out, or the guys getting it to the mills. The price starts, the huge jump starts with the mills and the manufactures, and then it trickles up from there” says Allen.

Allen says if the price of this commodity doesn’t eventually fall, he may eventually have to switch over to alternative materials to build.

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