Key Highlights

  • US Department of Commerce cut Canadian lumber tariffs from 20% to 9%
  • This good news for home builders and home buyers
  • Helps mitigate volatility and uncertainty in marketplace

New home and renovation builders/contractors were thrilled to learn this good news from the US Commerce Department – tariffs on Canadian lumber have been cut from 20% to 9%. This welcome and well-timed action is occurring as the Random Lengths Framing Composite Price has been declining since September but still remained more than +60% since mid-April.

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Chuck Fowke, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), said, “The Commerce Department’s action to reduce duties from more than 20% to 9% on softwood lumber shipments from Canada into the US is a positive development, but more needs to be done. Tariffs have contributed to unprecedented price volatility in the lumber market in 2020, leading to upward pressure on prices and harming housing affordability for American consumers. The US needs to work with Canada to end tariffs and achieve a long-term, stable solution…”

Lumber prices peaked in September to $950/thousand board feet and are now down to some $560/ thousand board feet, a very positive price decline but still considered an “extremely high historical level,” according to the NAHB.

To further address new home/renovation cost and price acceleration, construction wage growth needs to be balanced between compensation commensurate with rising home prices and local cost of living standards and the need for housing/renovation prices remaining affordable to more than just the “financially select.”


Thanks to NewWestern, the National Association of Homebuilders and BuildZoom.

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