Soaring Lumber Prices Driving Up Construction Costs May Have Peaked

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OTTAWA—While lumber prices nearly doubled earlier this year compared to what they were at the start of the pandemic, driving up the cost of new homes and renovations, the peak may have passed. After reaching around $1,600 per thousand board feet, the standard industry measurement, lumber prices have dropped by about $400, says Joel Neuheimer, vice president of international trade with the Forest Products Association of Canada. “We will be watching to see if this recent decline continues as we try to figure out what the new normal for lumber demand will be,” Neuheimer said in an interview. Kevin Lee, CEO of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, says 2020 was a very busy year in terms of new home construction and renovations, as pandemic restrictions meant people needed their residence “to function as an office, a school, and a gym.” An expected seasonal slowdown in construction in the second half …

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