The Hill: Lumber duties not the cause of housing unaffordability

Originally Published in The Hill by Zoltan van Heyningen

Despite what you might read, softwood lumber pricing is not a driving factor of American homeownership and housing affordability. Sadly, some groups are misstating critical facts about trade law and the actual impact of softwood lumber on home pricing.

Here are the facts.

Lumber makes up less than 2 percent of the cost of a new home. An average new home costs $377,200, and about 16,000 board feet of lumber is required to build a home. As of July 2019, lumber cost $359 per thousand board feet, amounting to a total cost of $5,744 in an average-priced home.

The real sources of housing unaffordability come from construction worker shortages, higher permitting costs, lack of buildable lots and other factors. Lumber prices have actually remained largely consistent over the past few decades—decreasing in real costs when considering inflation.

Read the full article here.