Lumber prices cause issues for local builders as they wait for costs to drop

Local News

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Contractors and developers have battled the cost of lumber the last few months, and they are still waiting for some kind of decrease in prices.

Two contractors in East Texas say they both bought supplies ahead of time to avoid running into this issue that many are facing.

Cheryl Knox, the owner of Knox Construction Services, says she is spending $40 more than she was a year ago. She adds that if you didn’t buy supplies ahead of time, that it is probably best to avoid building for now.

“It’s not just lumber that has gone up, it’s electrical components, rebar for concrete has gone up, it’s basically anything to do with construction has gone up,” Knox said.

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.

“The costs we have been seeing are down by about 20%, but even with that 20% that’s still a huge increase,” Knox said.

Will Hersey, a developer overseeing a new townhome building going up in downtown Tyler, says that they don’t think the prices will ever be what they were a year ago, but that they do predict the price to drop sometime within the next couple of months.

“I don’t think it will ever get back to where it was a year ago, but we are hopeful,” Hersey said.

He says that COVID-19 was originally to blame for the increase, but now it is just better for suppliers to keep costs where they are. But for now they are just working with the resources that are available to them.

They plan to do what they can with the resources they have available, while staying patient until they can continue building dreams for others.

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