Record-High Lumber Costs Adding More than $7,000 to the Price of a Home

Filed in Advocacy by on May 11, 2018 24 Comments

Since the beginning of last year, rising lumber prices – made worse by tariffs on imported Canadian softwood lumber – have increased the price of an average single-family home by more than $7,000.

We need you to take action now by writing the White House and your member of Congress today. Urge the president to resume talks with Canada to find a long-term solution to this trade dispute and ask your U.S. representative to sign onto a bipartisan letter urging the administration reach a lumber trade solution with Canada.

Lumber prices soared to a record-high $543 per thousand board feet for the week ending May 11 and May futures contracts are selling at the previously unthinkable $600 range.

We need a solution now to protect the home building industry and consumers from tariffs that are raising production costs and harming home buyers.

You can make a difference. Act now and ask President Trump to return to the negotiating table with Canada to find a solution to these harmful tariffs.

Go to this link and copy and paste this message to the president. You may also add in your personal lumber price numbers.

“Mr. President,

With a tariff on Canadian lumber in place, lumber prices have skyrocketed. My latest load of lumber cost 60% more than last year and that hurts my small business.  I respectfully request that you return to the negotiating table with Canada and redouble your efforts to reach a new softwood lumber agreement. It is our hope that in negotiating a new agreement with Canada, you will push for measures that take into account not only the impact of price fluctuations on the domestic lumber industry, but also on those secondary industries and consumers that rely on softwood lumber for their economic well-being. 

Thank you for considering my views,”


Your member of Congress can also help. Click on this link to ask your federal lawmaker to sign a letter urging Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to reach a new softwood lumber trade agreement with Canada.

You can also share your message to President Trump on Twitter. Be sure to tag President Trump @realDonaldTrump and NAHB @NAHBhome, and include the hashtag #TariffsHarmHousing.

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Comments (24)

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  1. Jim Folkman says:

    Are you kidding me!? I thought NAHB was so enamored with the “builder” Donal Trump that he could do no wrong and was going to be your unfettered deregulation savior?. What hypocrisy…and poetic justice. It’s just unfortunate that the real losers are the families who will no longer qualify for a new home.

  2. Douglas Keaty says:

    Well said Jim F. Does anybody have a number for first time homebuyers that can no longer afford a home . I can hardly believe that a loud mouth billionaire, who has never swung a hammer, can have no regard for the struggling working class.

  3. Andy Hempel says:

    My message to the republican president and my republican congressmen will be that as soon as they leave washington there will be an opportunity for sanity to once again have a place in our government. It is still unfortunate that the NAHB has walked hand in hand with this republican fiasco.

  4. Trudy Mallon says:

    I trust the administration decision making and as a builder I KNOW lumber and all other products including an costs, which are raisingat a much higher rate, in a hot market like this they skyrocket. After this election cycle I certainly DO NOT trust any media outlets. I am a builder and a realtor and will wait it out.

  5. Bob Manderfield says:

    Lumber, just like the tariffs on steel and Aluminum, will force us to fend for ourselves instead of relying on foreign imports. We need to start growing our own, no not that ….LUMBER, and making our own steel for the automakers. If we depend on other countries for it, they strangle us with it. Look what oil has done to us for decades.

    We can rag about it, like others on this post, but where are the Democrats? Where are the LEADERS? They just react…. and resist. They say NO to everything. Is there an original thought from anyone on the Left?


    SOMEBODY has to run the country FOR THOSE OF US WHO WORK!

  6. Derek Reijnen says:

    I am a builder and have been for 38 years. I have worked for everything I have, having come from poverty. No entitlements here. So, disagree with me all day long, but know that my point of view is based on a life of honest hard work.

    The first rule of governance for elected officials should be “do as little hard as possible, do as much good as possible, and honor public interest over personal gain”. Simple enough. To that, we now have to add “and don’t flagrantly lie, don’t willfully deceive”, because this particular Republican fiasco (and yes, this is specifically a Republican failure to govern) includes a President who is incapable of leadership or honesty, who does everything on his own whim, and a party with so little courage and backbone that they just lay down at his feet. Tariffs with Canada??? Over lumber?? Stupid, shortsighted, willfully fact-free dispute where none should exist. Embarrassing ignorance of the consequences. Might as well have a testosterone infused teenager running the country. I’m a working stiff and I’m damn mad about what has happened to the Republican Party, and what they have done to the Country. This isn’t remotely acceptable. It’s time to stop pretending this is normal or acceptable.

  7. Kenneth Maas says:

    Your president, our MR. Ttrump has not understood the economy from lumber in the construction fields to the soybeans in the agricultural fields. Do not impeach, vote him and his supporters out!

  8. Tim says:

    You guys……….give the president time. At least he’s not a communist like the last president. How many houses did you build under his administration?
    Let him know your thoughts, and go on.

  9. LEON says:


    • TP says:

      Oh really? It was an immediate increase. same with solar and metals.

    • Stephen B says:

      Tell it like it is Leon! It is about supply and demand, check out the prices from your subs, if you can even hire one, the building industry has lost it workers due to retirement and the loss of “shop classes” funneling in the next generation of hard hats. Our company cannot keep up with the demand for our services, and have raised our prices twice to keep up with the rising costs of material and labor. In a free market supply and demand generally drive prices and in my estimate lumber prices are the tip of the iceberg and those who don’t recognize that are the Titanic and the rest of us will continue to float along during the good or the lean years.

  10. Guy says:

    Funny most our lumber comes from Oregon mills ,how much is the tariff from Roesburg to Bend ?

  11. Highlander1776 says:

    The Canadian government subsidizes the timber industry. What about the U.S. timber farmers? Who cares about their financial interest? Trump is trying to stop the Canadian subsidies on their lumber at the US timber farmer’s expense.

  12. JR says:

    The Canadian government owns the timber lands and they charge a harvesting fee. Let’s allow the government to own the land and raw materials to build a home and the government will pay the builder a fee to build the home. The government keeps the profit. This is called socialism. How would the home builders like competing directing with the government. This is what the American timber farmers have been doing? Socialism is a hand out at someone’s expense.

    • TP says:

      Where do you think timber comes from in this country when the gov’t announces it will open up more forests for harvesting. That is a US gov’t subsidy.
      All the timber in this country doesn’t just come from private land owners.

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