Lowcountry Headlines

Lowcountry Headlines


Lumber prices for homebuilders on the rise

Planks of wood on shelves

By Riley Bean and Danielle Seat | October 15, 2020 at 8:17 AM EDT - Updated October 15 at 8:40 AM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Lumber prices are on the rise, and Charleston homebuilders say they are feeling the impact.

Homebuilder Michael Rooke says his company is absorbing the cost because contracts were signed before the rise in lumber prices.

Whether the companies are absorbing the costs or not, homebuilders in the Lowcounty have seen these lumbers prices skyrocket.

Rooke Custom Home Builders have been building homes in Charleston for 16 years, and Rooke says he’s never seen lumber prices increase this much this fast.

He and other home builders say they have seen an increase of 30% to 60%, which when building a home is tens of thousands of dollars.

A piece of plywood that use to be about $3, is now $9.

More importantly, Rooke says his suppliers are telling him not to expect these prices to come down anytime soon.

Another company, Novella Homes, says their customers are having to absorb these costs, but it’s still effecting their business because fewer people are wanting to build homes with prices this high.

Rooke says this is happening because lumber producers shut down in the beginning of the pandemic, causing lumber to be in short supply.

“We’ve still been able to help some people out, and that’s what we’re trying to do as much as possible, Rooke said. "But homes being more expensive is definitely going to slow down our business and it’s going to slow down the industry as a whole.”

The owner of Novella Homes says these prices might come down in the coming months with most lumber producers back open, but Rooke says with plants working with limited staff, he’s been told by suppliers not to expect these prices to come down anytime soon.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Photo: Live 5 News

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