Lumber costs are still high, and so is demand for homes

ROANOKE, Va. — Lumber prices have begun to fall in the last few weeks. But the commodity still remains significantly more expensive than it did before the pandemic.

The Roanoke Times reported Saturday that lumber prices skyrocketed more than 300% since April 2020.

Lumber sold for about $350 per thousand board feet before the pandemic. The price peaked at about $1,500 per thousand board feet in May.

And yet, demand is still strong. Robert Dietz is a chief economist for The National Association of Home Builders. He said people have been able to save more money and put it toward a down payment.

Building permits for single-family homes grew 13% in Virginia in 2020. Dietz said growth is expected to continue this year.

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