Lumber costs rise and put spotlight on possible price gouging

Updated: Apr. 22, 2021 at 12:21 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The price of lumber has been skyrocketing nationally, with financial experts indicating it could go even higher.

People looking to build a house right now are particularly impacted by rising lumber prices, and it’s really caused by several reasons.

If you look at the issue on a macro level, impact from the severe winter storms, hurricanes as well as increased demand during the pandemic are at the top of the list, your regular issues with increased demand and limited supply.

However, homebuilders associations are investigating reports of possible price gouging as prices continue to rise and eat into the cost of new projects. The national association of home builders estimates lumber has gone up 250 percent over last spring alone, and in some places it can be more.

“The cost of OSB plywood has skyrocketed. A year ago it was 9 dollars and now Home Depot is selling it for 36.25 a sheet,” one construction worker said.

Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office says there has been one complaint of lumber price gouging so far in Alabama and urges anyone suspecting it to report it immediately.

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