The November 2017 tariff on some lumber imported from Canada is driving prices to near-record levels. Combined with rising labor costs and availability, along with upward creeping mortgage rates, builders and contractors are juggling options to keep profit margins reasonable and avoid passing along additional costs to customers.
According to the National Association of Home Builders, lumber adds up to about 18 percent of a home's selling price. Balancing the 21 percent lumber tariff's effects with what buyers see as a reasonable price is getting tough.
In Bloomberg.com's post Trump’s Tariff Is Forcing Homebuilders to Cut Costs builders discuss how they are trying to using the least amount of material while still meeting building codes, dealing with less desirable grade lumber, and contending with material shortages due to last year's wildfires in Canada.
Some industry experts say greater innovation will be spurred if materials become unaffordable. Read Bloomberg.com's article here: