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Price of lumber at all-time high

Posted at 9:20 PM, Sep 01, 2020

OMAHA, NEB. (KMTV) — The price of lumber is at an all-time high. Since April, the price of lumber per thousand-foot board has increased from $300 to $950 - that’s more than 200 percent.

In Omaha, we’re seeing the effects of that at hardware stores, and in new homes.

“The housing market in Omaha is very strong,” Marc Stodola, President of Charleston Homes said. “Interest rates remain at an all-time low. So, we saw that last year we had a record year. For Charleston Homes, this year, we will have as good of a year if not better. So, our sales so far for the year have been outstanding.”

Charleston Homes gets their trusses and wood from Structural Component Systems. SCS says their yard is fully stocked with lumber but mills are having a hard time keeping up.

“Back in March most of the producing mills out there had cut their production back over 50-percent,” Dave Kipp, Purchasing Manager, SCS said. “A lot of mills have just never caught up from that.”

He said mills didn't anticipate the DIY market picking up.

“Home repair and people building decks, that sort of thing, that business all picked up everybody was sitting home, doing nothing, had stimulus checks to spend maybe. Went out and decided to buy a lot of lumber,” Kipp said.

Kipp said the price of lumber will eventually come back down.

“I don’t know when for sure that is going to happen,” Kipp said. “It could happen this week, it could happen in two months.”

Charleston Homes has already locked in the price of lumber through the first quarter of next year, but with the demand of the housing market, they're already looking at building past then into next June.

“We’re anticipating that it drops down,” Stodola said. “It will drop down but we’re not sure if it will drop down to where we originally locked in at so we recently had to take a price increase. And then we will be monitoring that through the next couple of months to see if we’re going to have to take another increase.”

Stodola's advice to anyone shopping for a new home right now, is to be conscious of the market and what the price of lumber is doing across the board for builders.