Woodworking Network: Lumber executive says softwood duties are not causing housing unaffordability

Originally Published in Woodworking Network by Robert Dalheim

The executive director of the U.S. Lumber Coalition, a trade group formed around the issue of lumber imports, says softwood lumber pricing is not a primary factor in American homeownership and housing affordability.

“Lumber makes up less than 2 percent of the cost of a new home,” director Zoltan van Heyningen wrote in The Hill. “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.”

van Heyningen says the actual sources of housing unaffordability are construction worker shortages, higher permitting costs, and a lack of buildable lots. He says lumber prices have remained consistent over the past decades.

Read the full article here.