Trump trade dispute with Canada boosts housing costs and prices

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Houses are made out of wood, and the cost of lumber has soared this summer.

Houses are made out of wood, and the cost of lumber has soared this summer.

Mike Prandini of the Fresno and Madera County Building Industry Association says tariffs on Canadian lumber are behind much of the increase.

"Since the dispute with Canada over timber erupted that's caused an increase in timber prices to take a jump. Looking at about 30 percent increase over the past month."

About one-third of the lumber used in the U.S. comes from Canada and the California Building Industry Association estimates the costs increased by the trade dispute are raising housing prices by from $8 to $10,000 statewide. Prandini says.

"A house has a lot of wood in it so you can know that it will cause a problem in profitability on building a home and if nothing else it causes an increase in the cost of a home."

It is not just homebuilders paying more for wood.

At the Woodshed in Clovis, where furniture makers, boat makers, airplane restorers, and musical instrument makers get their wood,co-owner Jason Dogey says prices are climbing.

" A good example I like to say is Sitka Spruce. We get it from Canada that literally has gone up the middle of summer till now, 30 percent that's huge."

But it is not just Canadian wood. Dogey says American suppliers are also hiking their prices.

"The domestics are following the import lines so now what we usually make here in the states is rising to keep up with everybody else."

If high lumber costs are not bad enough for builders, tariffs on Canadian steel products like nails and wire mesh are also adding to the increased cost of building and buying a home.
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