Lumber price surge drives up Colorado construction costs
DENVER — A nationwide surge in lumber costs is affecting home buyers and homeowners in Colorado.
Lumber prices are up 250% compared to a year ago, driving up home construction costs, according to economist Ali Wolf with the housing market research firm Zonda.
Colorado already had some of the hottest real estate markets in the U.S. Now, lumber prices are contributing to a price surge that shows no sign of slowing.
Predictions of a pandemic-related housing slowdown never came to pass. Instead, the opposite happened.
“The combination of the lockdowns and more time spent at home made people realize they wanted to live in a home that met their evolving needs,” Wolf told The Denver Post.
By December, new home contract sales were 43% above the same period a year earlier, according to Zonda.
Now, 86% of builders report major lumber supply disruptions and 96% report recent price increases associated with lumber costs, according to Zonda.
The lumber price surge is also affecting remodeling. Deborah Cowles, of Centennial, put off replacing an old fence during the coronavirus pandemic, only to have contractors increase their price quotes by $1,000 or more a year later.
Contractors also couldn’t guarantee they could get the type of wood she wanted, Cowles said.
“It’s really caught us off guard,” she said.