Albuquerque Journal: Costs hammer homebuilders

It takes a lot of lumber to build a house, and the price of that wood has gone way up recently.

John Garcia, executive vice president of the Home Builders Association of Central New Mexico, said his members are grappling with higher lumber costs in part because of a 20 percent tariff the Trump administration slapped on softwood timber imports from Canada, a major supplier of framing lumber to the United States. The tariff was imposed starting in November 2017, but retroactive to January.

And on top of that, last year’s devastating hurricanes and floods in Houston and Florida and deadly wildfires in California created a surge in demand. As a result, prices have jumped an average of 30 percent year over year, said Garcia.


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