Home builders in for sticker shock as lumber prices climb

Lumber prices up as much as 33%, Jacksonville experts say

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – If you're planning to build a new home or make renovations to your current one, it might cost you more than you think.

Across the country, lumber prices are near an all-time high. Experts pointed to several reasons for the rising costs, but said in the end it all comes down to supply and demand.

Regardless of the cause, everyone from distributors to contractors to consumers is feeling the impact.

At Durham Building Materials in Jacksonville, the lumber yard is still full, but the cost to keep it that way has gone up anywhere from 30 percent to 33 percent, business president Lee Morris said.

Morris said major fires in California and British Columbia have cut supply and major hurricanes have increased demand, contributing to the spike in costs.

That demand is especially high in Florida, where back-to-back years of a major hurricane resulted in a lot of people needing lumber.

Morris said home builders are feeling the pinch.

“Right now, it’s anywhere from about $6,000 to $8,000 more per home,” Morris said. “That hits everybody. It’s the contractor, it is the owner and somebody like me. Our inventory value has soared about 35 percent at this time. We have the same number of sticks in the yard but our inventory value is up.”

Morris said he doesn’t expect the increase to taper off any time soon.

“It’s going to continue going up,” Morris said. “We haven’t seen any sign of it leveling off at this time.”

Morris said one thing that could raise prices even more is if another major hurricane hits the U.S. this year.

He sad if that happens, builders should expect even higher costs by this time next year.