Lumber Prices Skyrocket Amid Pandemic-Driven Demand

Uncategorized By Apr 03, 2023

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented demand for lumber as homeowners invest more in home renovations and builders work to keep up with demand for housing amid an exodus from urban areas. Prices have increased over 200% as lumber mills’ production took a hit due to world lockdowns, leading to a lower supply and higher prices. Tariffs on Canadian lumber and a labor shortage have compounded the problem. Builders are now forced to increase their prices to keep up with rising lumber costs, and homeowners may need to reconsider their renovation plans or explore alternative solutions. The current shortage is expected to continue through 2021.

Lumber Prices Skyrocket Amid Pandemic-Driven Demand

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented demand for lumber, which has caused prices to skyrocket. The pandemic has prompted homeowners to invest in home improvement projects, while builders have been working around the clock to keep up with the surge in demand for housing. As a result, the lumber industry has been struggling to keep up with demand, leading to shortages and price hikes.

Why Are Lumber Prices So High?

Lumber prices have increased by more than 200% since April 2020, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). This has been attributed to several factors, including:

1. Shutdowns and production cuts

The pandemic has forced lumber mills to reduce production or shut down entirely. This has caused a shortage of lumber, driving up prices.

2. A surge in demand from homeowners

Homeowners are investing more in their homes during the pandemic, as many are spending more time at home. This has prompted a surge in demand for lumber and other building materials.

3. A surge in demand from builders

Builders are working to meet the demand for housing as people are fleeing urban areas to buy homes in suburban and rural areas. This has led to a surge in demand for lumber.

4. Tariffs on Canadian lumber

The US government imposed tariffs on Canadian lumber in 2017, which has made it more expensive for US builders to import lumber from Canada.

What Does This Mean For Homeowners?

The high cost of lumber has made home renovation projects more expensive. Homeowners might have to reconsider their plans or seek less expensive alternatives.

What Does This Mean For Builders?

Builders are being forced to increase their prices to keep up with the rising cost of lumber. They are also facing supply chain issues, as the lumber shortage continues to impact the industry.


Q: How long will lumber prices stay high?

A: The lumber industry expects prices to remain high throughout 2021, with some predicting that prices may not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2022.

Q: Are there any alternatives to lumber?

A: Yes, some builders are exploring alternatives such as steel, concrete, or engineered wood products, which are less affected by the current shortage.

Q: How do I budget for my home renovation project with the high cost of lumber?

A: Homeowners should speak to their contractor about budgeting for a project with the current high cost of lumber. They could also consider delaying their project until lumber prices stabilize or seek financing options.

In conclusion, the pandemic-driven demand for lumber has caused prices to soar, and the shortage has resulted in supply chain issues for builders. Homeowners and builders will have to adjust their plans, seek alternative solutions or postpone projects until the industry stabilizes. The lumber industry expects the high prices to continue throughout 2021, but there are opportunities to explore less affected alternatives.