Lumber prices have the biggest drop in history

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Lumber prices have fallen 40% since May. That’s the biggest drop in history.  

The falling prices are based on the predicted future price of lumber, which is bought by places — like your local lumber mill — via contract. Experts like Thomas Baalmann said it won’t immediately reflect on the market. 

“We do think that it will come down in the future. I just can’t tell you how soon,” said Baalmann.

Thomas Baalmann has owned B&B Lumber since 1995. He said no price is guaranteed until you see it on the shelf. 

“It has come down on the futures market currently doesn’t mean that it can’t go back up,” added Baalmann.

In this volatile market, it might, but Baalmann said the average buyer isn’t alarmed. 

“People have no idea what a 2×4 is worth and so they just paid the price, and we’re happy to get it and to get their project done,” continued Baalmann.

Paul Gray is a builder in the Wichita area. He claims that for every client concerned about lumber prices, eight more give him the green light to frame-up.

“It hasn’t turned away enough people to make a difference,” said Baalmann.

In fact, Gray has had record sales in the last few months. 

“No one likes the fact that the cost of building has been up the buyers are also wanting to take advantage of very low-interest rates,” continued Gray. 

Although dimensional lumber, like 2 by 4’s, has gone down, that’s not the case for everything.

“Plywood prices are still going up, the OSB — the stuff that we sheet the outside with, the flooring the roofing materials that product is actually going up,” added Gray.

The final cut is that the drop in prices don’t reflect immediately for consumers. 

“We’re excited to see it, but it won’t translate to a price decrease or consequences on the prices for probably a couple of months,” said Gray.

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