Lumber Cost Trend Brief
The price of most wood species across the country has spiked in the last two weeks and continues to rise, as much of the wood available in the U.S. market is allocated towards projects currently in progress. The 2018 North American Construction Forecast Report prepared by Oldcastle Business Intelligence projected that lumber costs will increase 3-4 percent in 2018, after a 10 percent average increase in 2017, due to the tariff increase on Canadian lumber and higher demand from hurricane damage. However, lumber companies have seen a 20-25 percent average increase over the last year. Since January 2016, the price has jumped approximately 40 percent for producers and buyers alike. On average, wood framing costs have increased as much as $4 per square foot.
With the tariffs on Canadian lumber imports, we will likely see an increase in North American lumber production and market share, as well as an increase of overseas imports. “Demand for structural panels outpaced supply,” according to Random Lengths in Eugene, Ore. Expect more volatility as the market and the producers catch up. Plan ahead, buy early, and, in today’s market, expect longer than usual delivery times.