Builders are constructing more houses now than at any time before last decade’s foreclosure crisis, and the increased construction activity is resulting in higher lumber prices, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Since last June, lumber futures have risen more than 33 percent, according to the report. Recently, lumber futures for March delivery closed at $422.30 per 1,000 board feet and wood for May was priced at $423.
Though climbing, wood prices are still below a peak of $639 achieved in May 2018. Prices at that time had risen due to a confluence of factors, including wood-boring beetle damage, wildfires and tariffs on Canadian imports.
The rising lumber prices come at a time when other construction barometers are showing signs of movement. In December, U.S. housing starts surpassed a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.6 million, their highest levels since December 2006, according to the report. More residential building permits are being issued since May 2007.