‘Wild times’: Fluctuating prices, drop in supply frustrate Fredericksburg-area homebuilders | Local News

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There’s also a shortage of truck drivers to get the needed supplies from mills and manufacturers to market, Kujawa said.

“I used to have a full head of hair and it used to be blond. I’ve been pulling it out and having a lot of sleepless nights,” he said. “Fortunately for me, I have a couple different locations that I deal with, so I can shift back and forth to deal with inventory challenges.”

Lack of supply coupled with a surge in demand sent the price of framing lumber on a roller-coaster ride this year. The price peaked at an all-time high of $1,670.50 per thousand board feet in early May, almost four times higher than in May 2020. But prices plummeted in June, ending the month at $716.

The increases were reflected in the price of a new house. The median was $372,400 for a new, single-family home house in April, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau figures. In April 2020, it was $310,000.

“That’s a $62,000 increase, but you can’t attribute all of that to lumber,” said Shawn Church, editor of Fastmarkets Random Lengths, a trade publication that tracks lumber prices. “It’s about half of that increased cost.”

Builders are also having trouble getting everything from drywall to garage doors and windows. Prices for those have increased as well, said Craig Toalson, CEO of the Home Builders Association of Virginia.

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