While still high compared to recent years, southern yellow pine (SYP) lumber prices have dropped from their record high of $576/MBF posted in early June. Forest2Market’s composite southern yellow pine lumber price for the week ending July 20 (Week 29) was $513/MBF, an 11 percent decrease from the record high but a 0.6 percent increase from the previous week’s price of $510/MBF. Year-over-year, week 29’s price represents a 36 percent increase from the same week in 2017.
We continue to see weekly stories about the high price of building materials, and lumber in particular, that are contributing to higher home prices—roughly $7,000 on average. While home prices are indeed climbing, the pace at which homes are being built has not significantly increased. In fact, supply is not keeping up with demand. It’s difficult at this point to tell what is really driving this dynamic, as homebuilders remain optimistic according to the mainstream survey metrics.