Lumber prices skyrocket, frustrating stores and homebuilders

Lumber prices skyrocket, frustrating stores and homebuilders

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - If you’ve built a house recently, you might have noticed the price of lumber has risen sky-high.

Lumber prices have increased nearly 200 percent since last spring, adding $24,000 to the cost of building a new single-family home.

There are many factors to this increase, from the housing market all the way to an increase in demand.

“It’s frustrating, to be honest with you,” David Tennison, Assistant Store Manager at JT White Lumber & Hardware, said. “I’ve been here 31 years, this is — I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Tennison says business hasn’t slowed down despite the rise in the cost of lumber, but the continual rise in cost is creating problems.

“It frustrates me to do a house plan and quote a material package,” Tennison said. “[It] seems like things are just so much higher.”

It’s not just lumber stores, it’s also home builders feeling the effects.

“It’s just heartbreaking to know what you’re building for and what it’s fixing to cost you,” Hoxie Mayor Dennis Coggins said.

Coggins owned multiple houses that burned down a couple of weeks ago. He says the rise in price has made it harder for him to rebuild.

“All these people that’s got these projects started, the prices of lumber has either doubled or tripled,” Coggins said. “About four weeks ago, I bought some OSB and it was like $19-$20 a sheet, somewhere in there. I bought three sheets last week and it was $32 a sheet.”

A former general contractor, Coggins says the increase creates uncertainty.

“You ain’t going to be able to rebuild quick as possible,” Coggins said. “And it only takes one bad estimate to take you under, and I’m telling you, I don’t see how they’re doing it right now.”

Coggins said the belief is that the price will hopefully decrease within the next two to three months.

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