NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Lumber prices have skyrocketed amid the COVID-19 pandemic due to increased demand and supply restraints.
Korey Ness, Store Manager at Lloyd Lumber, said, “Certain things have been hard to acquire. Prices are definitely up, but activity, business around the store.. we’re busy.”
According to the National Association of Home Builders, increases in lumber prices have added nearly $36,000 to the average price of a new single-family home, and nearly $13,000 to the price of a multifamily home since April of last year.
Ness added, “People are at home, looking for something to do, seeing projects around the house that need to get done, so that’s kind of what’s driving a lot of the demand.”
This comes after months of insufficient domestic production due to unforgiving lumber mill restrictions.
“We see big demand for people in those trades and then the supplies, the the materials, the manufactured goods that all go into home building,” stated Todd Prafke, City Administrator of St. Peter.
Local officials say it also plays into an overarching issue of employee deficits in construction trades.
“That’s an issue that might not be as much of a blip in system as much of the supply chain issues that we see currently based on COVID,” Prafke mentioned.
While housing affordability remains greatly compromised, both lumber and city professionals say they are hopeful the crisis will mend itself over time.