DIY’ers Pause Projects Due to Soaring Material Costs

Number of the Day: The most relevant or interesting figure in personal finance

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That’s how many people planning home improvement projects decided to put them off because of the rising cost of materials, a new survey of Lowe’s and Home Depot customers showed.

While people took advantage of the time stuck at home to take on renovation projects early in the pandemic, cost has become a real factor, the survey from Cardify, which analyzes consumer spending, showed. 

Lumber prices have surged to record highs as sawmills trying to catch up from closures during the pandemic scramble to meet the increasing demand for new homes. And it is more than just lumber. Prices are soaring for many building materials—from steel mill products to gypsum used for drywall—as demand outstrips supply. This is slowing down not only do-it-yourselfers but home builders too

The rise in materials prices doesn’t look like it will abate anytime soon. The National Association of Home Builders, which has lobbied the government to encourage production and suspend tariffs on imports of materials, says costs will continue to go up.

“Homebuyers should expect rising prices throughout 2021 as the cost of materials, land and labor continue to rise,” NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said in a statement Monday.

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