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The Western Wood Productions Association predicts that 53 billion board ft. of lumber will be needed for construction in the United States next year, with the country only producing about 36 billion board ft. 

Importing the remaining 17 billion board ft. will be quite expensive, as the price of lumber has inflated 30% from last year, and 60% from two years ago. The increase in price has been attributed to the tariffs that were put into effect earlier this year against Canada. With Canadian lumber's price increasing, some are seeking to import cheaper Russian lumber, but the distance, and of course the price, to transport from Russia is significant compared to our neighbors in the North. 

Steel and aluminum costs are rising as well, with 25% tariffs on steel and 10% on aluminum, in the hopes of swaying other countries like China from flooding American markets with their products. China, which produces almost half of the world's steel, is already planning on diverting shipments through intermediary countries to avoid trade restrictions. Most of the United States sources its raw steel from Canada, Brazil, and South Korea. While Canada and Mexico were excused from these tariffs, the other countries' imports are more expensive than ever. Fabricating steel right here in the US is no longer the cheaper option, due to our need to import raw materials. 

The National Association of Home Builders, as well as the American Institute of Architects, forewarned of these price hikes, and are still just as aware of the possibility of those prices continuing to rise. 43% of all steel shipments in the US were destined for construction in 2016, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute, and 1/3 of all imported lumber in 2019 is anticipated for the industry. 

The price of materials is most definitely on the rise, but the market for home buyers is expanding at the same time. The coming year will show whether or not the price increases even out over a growing audience of expectant homeowners, or if it actually hinders potential buyers and redirects the home building industry towards smaller abodes, such as apartments and townhouses, in the future.