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As Lumber Futures Fall, Cost Of Home Construction And DIY Projects Could, Too

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - At its peak in May, a spike in the price of lumber added $36,000 to the average cost of a new single-family home in the U.S., pricing out many potential buyers.

"Not fun conversations, but it costs what it costs," said Thadd Reeves, co-founder of A. Gruppo Architects, of discussions on price with customers.

He's finally starting to see those prices ease up, though.

"It's come down about 10% overall," he said, standing next to planks he'd just loaded into the back of his pickup.

After tripling in price over the last year, lumber futures, the contracts on future sales of lumber, have reversed course, dropping in value by 50% in the last month.

That hasn't fully translated yet to the marketplace or the price of a new home, but it is a reliable predictor of what's to come.

"I kind of liken that to oil prices decreasing and then after a few weeks you'll start to see it make its way to the pump. That's what's happening here. The future looks good," said Phil Crone, executive officer for the Dallas Builders Association.

Crone says the ripple effects of high lumber prices have reached nearly everyone, whether you're looking to buy a home, remodeling one, tackling a quick DIY project in the backyard, or just watching the value of your existing home soar.

As sawmills boosted production in the last couple months, though, supply is finally starting to catch up to demand.

"It'll be a much more substantial improvement in the fall and winter," he anticipates.

But, don't expect a drastic drop in the price of homes, yet.

It's hasn't been lumber alone raising the cost of construction.

The pandemic disrupted all sorts of supply chains - and the labor market, too.

"Everything. Labor, materials, all across the board. It's all driving cost," said Reeves.

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