What Rising Lumber Prices Mean for Residential and Commercial Real Estate

July 13, 2021

By Adeola Akinrinade and Robert Trenk

Have you noticed sky high lumber prices recently? More people staying home during the pandemic means more time to work on home repairs and projects. Here’s what that means for real estate, homeowners and the lumber industry at large.

In March 2020, a number of establishments were forced to shut their doors due to COVID-19. The streets of New York City were essentially abandoned as non-essential workers worked from home and students learned virtually. The extension of stay-at-home orders into the early summer made many families with young children rethink city living. Hundreds of families fled cities for the suburbs and traded in their rent payments for mortgages. The housing markets in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut took off during the summer of 2020.

Like many others, my family and I moved to the suburbs. Shortly after we moved, we decided to fix a few things around the house. I recall my first visit to the local Home Depot and noticed the parking lot was full of cars. It seemed like everyone had projects they were working on: new decks, playsets, bathroom and kitchen renovations, and other home improvement projects.

Unfortunately, given the increase in demand, there were significant delays and limited stock everywhere. Our new fence project turned out to be a disaster as it took more than six months to get the raw materials delivered and another six weeks to get them installed. We would trade horror stories with our friends and neighbors who were also struggling with renovation projects. It was the same story. Contractors would promise to complete a project within a reasonable time for an agreed price, but there were consistently significant delays and cost overruns.

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About Adeola Akinrinade

Adeola Akinrinade is a Director in the Financial Advisory Services Group and has over 10 years of experience providing financial and strategic advisory services to companies and creditors.