High lumber prices are affecting East Texans hoping to build homes

Local News

(KETK)- If you are interested in building a new home, it could cost you tens of thousands of extra dollars.

Lumber prices have increased.

“Some local lumber yards are you know pricing on a daily basis,” said Will Hersey, owner of ATDL Development Corporation.

Experts say the main cause for the surge in prices is the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, the production of building materials came to a halt.

But, even though lumber production stopped, the demand for it was still high.

“It’s all about supply and demand right. You’re continuing to see major metroplexes. There’s no slowing down of development and so you’ve got to see the slow in demand and an increase in supply for it to regulate,” said Hersey.

The National Association of Home Builders says in the past year, the surge of lumber costs has made the price of an average new single-family home increase by $35,000.

One East Texas family bought land near Longview about a year ago, but they have not started constructing yet.

“Everyday I look, and you know, it’s gone up another $60 or they’ll go down $20 and then go back up $80. Every time we would get a new quote on our build, it seemed like it would be up another $10,000 in just a couple weeks,” said Leah Murray, future homeowner.

She mentioned her estimate has increased by $80,000.

It has also been challenging for her family to find a temporary home.

” (We) couldn’t find a rental anywhere, couldn’t find an available apartment you know, five of us so it was a little difficult. Then, we just kind of moved into our RV for a little bit,” said Murray.

The family spent the winter inside the the RV. Now, they’re waiting until the price of lumber drops.

“Futures could drop you know in (the) October, November, December time frame,” said Hersey.

Contractors say, nothing is guaranteed.

Murray’s family has downsized their original plans. They sacrificed a garage and bonus room to stay on budget.

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