Lumber prices are up 232% and ‘could spiral out of control in the next few months’
Last week the price per thousand board feet of lumber soared to an all-time high of $1,188, according to Random Lengths. Since the onset of the pandemic, lumber has shot up a whopping 232%.
Home builders and DIYers don't want to hear this, but the ceiling could be higher—maybe even a lot higher. On Monday, the May futures contract price per thousand board feet of two-by-fours jumped $48 to $1,420. That squeeze once again triggered the circuit breakers and caused lumber trading to halt for the day. Why would lumber yards and builders pay above market rates? Severe lumber scarcity has buyers on edge. They're buying the sky-high contracts in order to ensure they'll actually get the lumber they need for projects already under contract.
"The market is in trouble. It could spiral out of control in the next few months," Dustin Jalbert, senior economist at Fastmarkets RISI, told Fortune. The issue? Supply, which is already backlogged, simply can't catch up as demand continues to grow with the start of the home building and home renovation seasons.