Home Builders Experiencing High Costs and Slow Starts

The Trump Administration's tariffs on Canadian lumber are passing costs down to homebuyers, according to industry experts.

June 16, 2018, 7:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Construction

brizmaker / Shutterstock

"Higher lumber costs, labor shortages and growing regulations are holding U.S. builders back as they try to ramp up construction to meet the huge demand for housing," reports Steve Brown.

Brown is sharing information from the National Association of Home Builders: "builders around the country are forecast to construct almost 910,000 houses this year and increase production to 1 million homes by 2020." Last year the industry "starting about 850,000 single-family homes nationwide…" Robert Dietz, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders, says that pace is under-building to meet demand.

Dietz credits the high cost of land in slowing housing starts, saying labor shortages have been more commonly responsible for the industry's sluggish pace in the past. Materials are also driving up costs. "A spike in lumber prices caused by the Trump administration's tariffs on Canadian wood products is one of the biggest burdens on builders, Dietz said." Dietz also said that the lumber tariffs are driving up the cost of a new home by $9,000.

Friday, June 15, 2018 in The Dallas Morning News

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