Working Closely with NAHB, Nearly 100 Lawmakers Urge Trump to Act on Lumber

Filed in Advocacy, Housing Affordability, Material Costs by on October 21, 2020 21 Comments

lumberThis post was updated on Dec. 7.

Working in tandem with NAHB, nearly 100 Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Oct. 20 sent a letter to President Trump seeking urgent action on lumber supply shortages that have resulted in unprecedented price spikes in recent months that are threatening the housing industry and economic recovery.

“These sharp increases are challenging, especially in light of the ongoing housing affordability crisis,” the congressional letter stated. “The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) estimates the recent spike in softwood lumber costs has caused the price of an average new single-family home to increase by $16,148 since April 17. The market value of the average new multifamily home has increased by $6,107 over the same period.”

The letter adds that housing can create jobs and boost the economy, but in order to do so, we must address the rising costs of lumber and other building materials. Lawmakers called on the administration to “bring all stakeholders to the table and work to find a solution to address lumber scarcity and subsequent price spikes to ensure everyone’s needs are met.”

This is the latest action by NAHB to urge Congress and the administration to address this urgent issue.

Based on the lumber price trend since the beginning of the fall, NAHB’s ongoing efforts appear to be showing positive results. Lumber prices at the end of November stood at roughly $550 per thousand board feet — down about 40% from their mid-September peak but still far too high. NAHB will continue working on all fronts to find solutions that will ensure U.S. home builders have access to a stable supply of lumber at reasonable prices to keep housing affordable for hardworking American families.

View the congressional letter to President Trump.

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  1. Lawmakers Say Lumber Shortages Threaten US Recovery – Tree Frog creative | October 22, 2020
  1. When I first read this, I thought it was April 1st.

    The idea that this administration will do anything about this long-standing problem now is patently ridiculous. It cannot manage its own (white) house much less our homes.

    Keep your powder dry NAHB.

    • Tim Lear says:

      What is the solution? Supply versus demand is challenging anytime, but even more difficult during a pandemic. The same thing is happening in the PVC market. It will stabilize but there is no quick fix or magic wand.

    • Matt Hoots says:

      You really don’t want for government to do anything right now. If you want lower costs, then demand will have to be reduced which means that less houses are being built.

      The only way to lower prices is to create a housing recession and I don’t think builders want that.

      We just have to wait for the supply to catch up with demand.

  2. Real fixes come from letting the market do it’s thing. Having the government step in and “fix” things is the last thing we should be looking to have done.

  3. S Mercer says:

    The problem now is not supply it is that now that lumber prices are jacked up the lumber industry will try to keep those prices jacked up for as long as possible. The only way I see that changing is to settle the long standing trade fight with Canadian lumber when those tariffs fall off there will be a new sheriff in town. The President is supposedly a deal maker but so far he seems disinterested in solving this trade dispute with Canada… Perhaps the economy and putting people back to work is not as important to him as he leads you to. believe

  4. Tim Cornelison says:

    Moving in the right direction now anyway. Electioneering is not helpful…

  5. Bill Mauldin says:

    MANY other factors other than tariffs have effected both supply and price

  6. Henry Butler says:

    Asking for favorable government treatment for building materials won’t solve the problem. Our lumber problem is really the result of long term forest mismanagement and environmental over regulation. We’re seeing the problem now due to the pandemic. This too shall pass

  7. So many price increases and manufacturer delays in the field this year for sure. We are seeing windows out 11 weeks currently, framing packages delayed, appliances are very hard to find for picky customers. I sure hope something is done soon for the building industry. It is sure making it harder to be profitable in a booming industry.

  8. If lumber prices come down, will builder take their prices back down to help with affordability? I agree, let the market do what the market does. Less government interference is better than over regulation.

  9. Mike says:

    The letter does not offer any solutions only states the obvious. Reminds me of The Demi Moore character “ strenuously objecting” in the movie a Few Good Men. Aluminum studs will someday be the answer.

  10. Linda M says:

    I feel it is the big corporations causing the so called shortages. We are a Insulation Contractor. Suddenly there is an Insulation Shortage! They are so sorry but they HAVE to charge us a lot more for Insulation because of the shortage. Really! Just make more! There are not any restrictions on how much Insulation they can make. In our area the consumer is not hurt by more expensive Insulation. We are.

  11. Dohn Broadwell says:

    As an owner of timberland in the southeast, I can tell you that environmental regs do not significantly constrict the supply of southern yellow pine. The only reason we don’t sell timber (yellow pine) is because the timber is not mature for harvest or the stumpage prices are too low.

    Stumpage prices to the landowner have not budged during this “shortage”.

  12. Mark Helms says:

    Georgia Pacific has Always been a price gouger every time we get in a big housing boom. They need to somehow be held accountable for robbing us just because they have it and we have to have it, and we get ripped off.

  13. Mac Smith says:

    This is the “hard part” of making America Great Again, being that prices will increase. Indeed there are articles asking to increase inflation.
    The real fear is at the lumber yards and the lumber cutters, that if they were to cut new lumber, and the market price drops, they could be stuck with that lumber.
    These price increases are in metals also, steel and the like, as we were importing those before.
    I was parked next to a lumber truck with lumber stamped “Made in Sweden” the other day.
    Keeping these prices higher, will promote interior growth, and support the coming inflation.
    Yes, this is a hard time for today, but in the end, more lumber mills= more jobs, etc.

  14. Mark P says:

    Let’s call it what it is..price gouging..the market was red hot in 2004, 05, etc and prices for lumber were never this high. The residential market is not being over built as the demand for housing far exceeds the supply. This is a lumber industry that is taking advantage of a pandemic condition and will keep pricing high as long as they can.

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