The Star-Herald

Skyrocketing prices, demand for new homes signal uptick in Maine lumber market

Prices for wood to build and renovate houses have as much as doubled over the past six months, increasing costs for consumers but boosting Maine’s softwood sales and signaling a turnaround in that segment of the forestry market, industry experts say.

A number of factors drove up the price of wood. They include pent-up demand for new houses or additions following the recession, forest fires last year in western Canada that destroyed prime forests and shuttered mills for up to two months, a trade dispute between the United States and Canada, and hurricanes and other weather that created demand for repairs and new homes. A shortage of railcars and trucks also made it more difficult to transport lumber.

That all translates into a tight supply of wood.

To meet demand, mills in the state are boosting production, adding jobs and raising wages. Some lumber yards are giving materials quotes to builders that are valid for only one week because prices are fluctuating so dramatically. And builders are seeing strong demand from home buyers, who will have to pay an extra $7,000 to $15,000 for a new house.

To read the rest of “Skyrocketing prices, demand for new homes signal uptick in Maine lumber market,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff writer Lori Valigra, please follow this link to the BDN online.

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