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– Hardwood lumber:

— Price increase during COVID-19: 19.6%

— Jan. 2020 to April 2020 index score: 203.2

— Jan. 2021 to April 2021 index score: 242.9

– Softwood lumber:

– Price increase during COVID-19: 78.8%

— Jan. 2020 to April 2020 index score: 230.5

— Jan. 2021 to April 2021 index score: 412.2

– Indexed year: 1982

Wood has seen a larger price increase than any other homebuilding material over the last year. There are multiple reasons for this jump, according to the National Association of Home Builders, including mill closures and an uptick in DIY projects. At the start of the pandemic, many mills were closed by stay-at-home orders—which obviously cut production—while also leading them to believe that housing would be adversely affected and demand for lumber would go down. Contrary to their predictions, the housing market has boomed, which has only increased demand for hardwood and softwood. This increase, coupled with growing sales at big-box retailers for DIY projects, has sent prices skyrocketing.

The supply shortage and heightened cost of wood and other building materials throughout the pandemic has delayed construction projects, while also driving up the price of building a home. While the outlook regarding building materials for the remainder of 2021 and beyond is still fairly unknown, research group Capital Economics expects that the demand and the price of lumber, for example, will drastically drop once 2022 comes to a close. 

This story was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

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