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What’s Happening with Lumber Prices?

What’s Happening with Lumber Prices?

Whether you’re planning a new build in Huntington or an extension of Port Washington, you’ve likely heard about a significant issue facing every construction project: the price of lumber.

For a long time, the story was supply chain issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, and material shortages causing the price of lumber to reach the stratosphere, convincing many people to put off their projects until a later date. You might be seeing articles trending in news outlets about falling lumber prices, with wholesale prices seeing drops of up to 40% in recent weeks. However, economists note that it will likely still take time for the consumer price of lumber to see any significant decreases. They also warn that it’s unlikely for consumers to see lumber prices as low as they were pre-pandemic.

Rather, they say a new supply/demand equilibrium will be reached and prices will adjust accordingly, perhaps going down enough to encourage some postponed projects to get underway. Rising federal interest rates have slightly cooled down the national housing market (though as we all know, Long Island will always remain an outlier with demand that never slows down), which does reduce the overall demand for lumber. If this were the only factor it would be safe to assume that lumber prices would go down, but balancing out this fact is that production of new lumber is still at low levels. Supply of lumber is not catching up to demand and so prices are likely to stay elevated for the foreseeable future, though there could be some downward adjustment.

All of this is a way of saying that lumber prices should get a little lower in the near future, and if you’ve been putting off a project, it may be worth reaching out to your contractor to get their opinion on current prices and whether or not you should postpone or modify your plans in order to come in at a price point you feel comfortable with.