Heftier prices for lumber, affecting the housing industry

LAUREL, Del. – People on Delmarva aren’t strangers to the affects of supply and demand when it comes to lumber. However, according to those in the industry, those prices are currently skyrocketing. “Every order seems like it’s a fight cause we can’t find exactly what the customer needs and we’re trying to make it happen for them,” says a manager at Duke’s Lumber in Laurel, Delaware, Kolby Dukes.

If you’re looking to renovate your home, or even build a new one you may have to start saving some money. However this year, the price differences are drastic compared to recent years due to worker shortages which has created lumber shortage. “We’re ashamed of how high the prices are but when we tell them the price, people will say well it is what it is and you have it so we’ll take it,” says Dukes.

Dukes also tell us, last year a piece of plywood that would cost $9, is now costing close to $50. He say’s those prices aren’t stopping customers from buying however. He adds, prices for finished products like doors and windows have drastically increased as well. “We’ve seen price increases over the years, never like we’ve seen this year, but never in the history of those products have we seen a price decrease and we don’t expect to,” says Dukes.

Those on the construction side of things say the high prices have made things tough, especially for places like Habitat for Humanity; a non-profit housing organization building homes for those in need. “All of us who are in the housing industry whether you’re a small non profit like habitat or a very large organization are feeling the crunch,” says Executive Director for Sussex County Habitat for Humanity, Kevin Gilmore. He adds, “To build affordable housing in general is difficult and then you add the increased costs and it just makes it a real challenge to provide affordable housing opportunities.”

Unfortunately for those who may be wondering when things could return to normal, those in the lumber industry say they just don’t have answers right now. “At some point it will slow down, but there’s no sign of when that will be anytime soon,” says Dukes. Dukes also says, you could see these high prices well into next year.

Many lumber supply companies say they are struggling with getting materials, or they are taking longer to get there due to the worker shortage. However, Dukes say’s they will try to accommodate you as best as they can.

The Sussex County Habitat for Humanity says they’re also looking for volunteers to help with their projects. You can find out how you can help by clicking here.

Categories: Delaware, Local News