Lumber futures plunged further this week, seeing a price drop that hit 20% in a sign that the lumber market may finally reverse course from its dizzying price spike that occurred over the last few months.
The reversal was likely driven in part by a drop in homebuilding, which was down nearly 10% last month; general home repair also saw a similar decline.
Lumber manufacturers over the past several months have also been producing record levels of supply in response to the price surge.
Lumber prices have begun to drop following record highs, with futures closing Monday at their lowest price in over two months.
Lumber futures reached their highest-ever price in early May according to Nasdaq, trading at $1,711.20 per thousand board feet. Futures closed Monday at $966.20 per thousand board feet, still well above pre-pandemic levels which hovered around $400.
Prices skyrocketed due to a variety of factors, including supply chain disruption due to COVID-19 restrictions, labor shortages, and higher demand due to the surge in the housing market, according to a report by Wells Fargo economists. The report noted that while prices were unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels, restarting domestic lumber production and restoring domestic supply chains would stabilize the market.
The price of lumber has skyrocketed to a record high and four times its usual price at this time of year, causing a spike in homebuilding costs, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Lumber futures, or the market price for wood, reached a record $1,500.50 per thousand board feet on Friday, according to The Wall Street Journal. A board foot, the unit used to measure lumber, equals one square foot of wood with one inch of thickness.
“Absent a significant increase in mortgage rates or a Covid resurgence, it is hard to imagine what could cause lumber demand to drop and prices to moderate in the foreseeable future,” Eric Cremers, the CEO of major lumber producer PotlatchDeltic, told the WSJ.