Nationwide, homebuilders are faced with a shortage of a basic home remodeling material — lumber. The scarcity of lumber caused a spike in price by 180% since last spring, according to data from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
Hence, as of April 2021, an average American household will spend about $24,000 plus to get a new fence. That is if they have the material in stock; otherwise, it’s a two to three months wait.
So, What’s Causing the Shortage?
In a nutshell, the main reason behind the deficit of lumber is the COVID-19 pandemic. Namely, the lumber industry was hit hard on several fronts.
Lack of Lumber Imports
The US gets most of its lumber from Canada, which also had its production sites closed. Plus, important quantities are being imported from some of the hardest-hit countries like China.
Shut Down of Lumber Mills
As non-essential businesses, lumber mills have been shut down during the lockdown period, creating a product backlog.
Even when production workers get back to work, they won’t be able to keep up with the pace of 2019 — the new preventive measures like social distancing and similar protocols put additional strain on the entire process.
The price of wooden construction materials skyrocketed on the West Coast following the devastating wildfires; the loss was estimated at 15 billion board-feet of timber.
Even before the pandemic, 57% of homeowners believed that their house is in the “work-in-progress” stage.
But, stay-at-home orders turned their focus even more to home remodeling projects. Data shows that backyard projects are one of the most popular home improvement trends for 2021.
Local Supplier’s Selling Game
Some suppliers have predicted the rise in demand for lumber and are holding onto their stock, waiting for higher prices before they sell.