Record-setting lumber prices affecting buyers and builders in San Angelo

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SAN ANGELO, Texas — The price of lumber has skyrocketed in only one year, making it more difficult for home builders.

“You know a lot of the builders now are deciding just to stop I know one builder who has three slabs and he’s just gonna leave them there for right now,” says Kristen Oliver of the Home Builders Association of San Angelo.

According to the National Association of Home Builders , the price of lumber has increased over 300% setting an all-time high record.

“That’s kind of an odd deal but things have gone up dramatically, but the demand is so high it’s also what’s driving that to continue to rise because there’s just not enough product or not enough stuff there for everybody to get,” says McCoy Building Supply manager Ron Terrell.

Kristian Oliver who serves as the executive director of the National Association of Home Builders in San Angelo explains the effect it’s having on home builders in the Concho Valley.

Oliver says, “This is, you know, we’ve got supply chain issues when there’s no supply price goes up. And it just, you know, unfortunately, economics, one on one is coming into play.”

One recent study was published by the National Association of Home Builders explained that with the soaring lumber costs, the price of a single family home has increased by over $36,000, making it a tough task to keep up with for home builders like Bryan Benson.

“No, we’ve been trying to buy material earlier, we can store it, you know, it’s hard to get anything though I mean from lumber to our local lumber companies, even be able to keep enough inventory and to get on when we need it. So it’s been really difficult to do that plus also budgeting in trying to get in where the cost of a house is going to be when it’s finished,” Benson said.

But with a spike in lumber costs, what is to blame? An answer consumers, home builders and suppliers, say fall on a variety of variables.

“You know, they’ve pretty much determined that the sawmills are really kind of who’s to blame with this,” Oliver says then Terrell of McCoy’s Building Supply also adds, “hurricanes in the Gulf, you know COVID time, then started the hurricanes, and you had the freeze, and I call it the resin issues where we can’t get stuff and then you’d had the Suez Canal where the ship was stuck in the Suez Canal that backed things up.”

Today potential homebuilders are struggling to plan out whether they should wait for the prices to fall, or go ahead and build. That’s an answer, that doesn’t give much comfort.

“That’s the million dollar question. To say you need to wait, I don’t I don’t know that that’s necessarily a good thing I think there’s a lot of people that don’t have any other choice. Mortgage rates are still it still really low which is very good for consumers, but at the same time, we just don’t know what’s going to happen with the lumber prices.”

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