/ Modified may 14, 2021 12:41 p.m.

Lumber shortage leads to rising home prices, calls for tariff reductions

Canadian officials are pushing for reduced tariffs on the lumber it exports to the U.S.

As more of the economy reopens, the cost of doing business has gone up in some sectors. Construction in particular is dealing with a rise in lumber prices. The National Association of Homebuilders estimated in April that increasing lumber prices over the last 12 months added nearly $36,000 to the average cost of a new, single-family home. High demand for new housing coupled with a drop in lumber production are just a few factors. Efforts to ease the burden on builders and homebuyers has put renewed focus on tariffs levied on lumber imported from Canada. We discussed the international interest this issue has garnered with Zaib Shaikh, Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles.

Lumber is the only resource in high demand. Pandemic-related disruptions hit a number of industries. We turned to University of Arizona economist George Hammond for more insight.

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