NAHB CEO predicts how the election will affect housing, lumber prices
November 4, 2020 | 12:20 pm CST
In the latest episode of the National Association of Home Builders' Housing Developments podcast, NAHB CEO Jerry Howard predicts what will happen with housing and lumber prices. 
"I believe if we had a President Biden, he would unwind a lot of the deregulation that President Trump has undertaken." And I think those regulations would increase the cost of production of single-family housing significantly. Re-regulating would bring costs back up and slow down single-family production.
"Conversely, Biden, true to his party's approach to housing, has talked about subsidizing very low income housing, which could be a boon to our multi-family builders.
"I think you'd look at single-family housing to sharply decline, and multi-family housing to increase."
On lumber prices, Howard told Housing Wire:
“I think lumber prices would probably remain around the same and I’ll tell you why: If Trump wins, you’ll see a bigger effort to open up domestic harvests in our national forests and in the private forests,” Howard said. “But you probably won’t see the conclusion to the Canadian stuff with lumber prices.”
“If Biden wins, I think you’ll see more restriction on our domestic harvest. I don’t know this for sure, but possibly, he might be more amenable to dealing with the Canadian crisis.”
According to data from Random Lengths, lumber prices are up 134 percent from last year - which adds up to around $14,000 extra per house, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
The median price of new homes sold in July was $330,600, up $22,300 from last July. according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. 
The NAHB thinks the issue is urgent enough to warrant White House intervention. The Association penned a letter to President Trump, urging him to call on domestic lumber producers to ramp up production. The letter also called for prioritization of a new softwood lumber agreement with Canada, which would end tariffs averaging more than 20 percent on Canadian lumber shipments into the U.S. 


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Robert Dalheim

Robert Dalheim is an editor at the Woodworking Network. Along with publishing online news articles, he writes feature stories for the FDMC print publication. He can be reached at [email protected]