When Will Lumber Prices Go Down ? Is It Possible in 2024?

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Now that you are ready to renovate, repair, or build your house, prices of lumber have increased significantly, which made you think twice and wonder when will lumber prices go down. 

If you’re thinking of buying lumber and building materials, I’ve got some insights to share. Stick with me, and we’ll figure out if now’s the right time for you to make that purchase. 

Why is Lumber So Expensive?

Due to various circumstances, the price of lumber and several building supplies increased towards the onset of the pandemic. Lumber mills were among the first industries affected by the worldwide health crisis.

Second, since many people are staying more at home or working from home, home improvement and DIY projects have become a popular pastime. In addition, lumber prices were further impacted by inflation.

Reasons Behind the Recent Price Surge

Several causes, including a construction boom, have contributed to the rise in lumber prices and disruption in the market.

different lumber sizes

A variety of circumstances may cause a wood shortage and price rise. The housing supply system is under strain as demand rises. 

The epidemic’s impact on the transport systems used to convey lumber is still felt throughout the supply chain. The supply chain continues to be slowed down by a lack of labor. 

Because of a lack of workers, even if production has improved, sawmills across the country struggle to meet demands.

Contributing Factors to Lumber Prices

Supply

Supply issues continue to persist in almost every aspect of the lumber sector, primarily caused by a lack of available workers. The workforce shortage has impacted sawmills’ ability to operate at maximum efficiency.

milling lumber

As a result, sawmills produce lumber in small quantities, which drives up lumber prices.

Transportation

Today, the issue is more on logistics than scarcity. A shortage of railcars is limiting the ability of many Canadian businesses to ship their products. As a result, there is a big stockpile of raw materials in the mills but little in the field.

It takes longer to get lumber to distributors because there are fewer truckers and railroad workers. Because of bad logistics, there is a backlog of wood in warehouses and ports.

Demand

Due to the pandemic, many sawmills are unable to meet current demand. Sawmills cut production and also had to follow health restrictions.

lumberyard

During the housing market boom, sawmills were hesitant to open. Do-it-yourself projects boost lumber demand, including additions, restorations, and home improvement. 

Contractors find it harder to get and pay for lumber, adding to the public’s woes. Thus, they transferred the lumber costs to customers.

For more wood price guides, check the following posts: 

Lumber Research Data on Housing

The cost of constructing and renovating a home has also increased due to the price increase. According to our research, the costs for building a home have risen by nearly $18,600 due to rising lumber prices.

pine wood lumber

For renters, it appears that are also suffering the consequences. The cost of lumber has increased the costs of a newly constructed home by 12,000 dollars. 

This implies that renting a home now costs up to $119 extra per month, which is one more reason why lumber prices are so high [1].

When Will Lumber Prices Go Back to Normal or Drop Again?

No one can predict when or by how much the price of lumber will plummet in the coming year or five years. Executives in the industry anticipate they’ll be able to keep pace with demand.

The mills are expected to be back online over the next two years, which could indicate that things are about to take a change for the better. So for now, I suggest finding the best places to buy lumber considering your budget and the kind of wood available. 

FAQ

How long will lumber prices stay high?

Lumber prices will stay high as long as demand is also increasing. It is hard to predict how long lumber prices will stay high due to the weather, snow storms, and wildfires, which makes the retrieval and transport of lumber much more difficult.

Should I build a house now or wait?

You should build a house now if you are ready. Although waiting for excellent market conditions is helpful, it’s not necessary. Ultimately, it’s up to you to select the optimum time to start. If you have the time and resources now, don’t allow anything to stop you from building!

Conclusion

After keeping an eye on lumber prices, honestly, there’s no crystal ball to tell us when they’ll drop. But if you’ve got the budget and the means, don’t let these numbers scare you away.

As we’ve learned, the lack of available housing is causing the problem, and a possible way to alleviate this shortfall is to keep creating new homes.

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Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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