Lumber Tariffs Could Affect Local Construction Projects

Rising costs of lumber imported into the country could have an effect on home prices, especially in fast growing Hays County, News and Sports Editor, MOSES LEOS III reports.

While such an impact wouldn’t be felt in Central Texas for several months or more, Buda real estate salesperson J.D. Sanford believes consistent increases over time could lead to instability in the housing market.

According to a June 2018 New York Times article, tariffs imposed on lumber imported from Canada to the United States, along with supply and demand, as well as ecological factors, have played a role in the rise of home costs in the country.

Sanford said a rise in wood cost would be an “unnatural or inorganic” way to increase the price of home values.

In the Central Texas area, for example, increasing population pressures have led to a rapid rise in home values over the past decade. In Hays County, the average market value for homes rose by 7.1 percent from 2017 to 2018, while commercial and industrial value rose by nearly 13 percent, according to the Hays County Central Appraisal District.

The cause of that increase in the overall value was due to the 2,600-plus new homes and 83 new commercial units built in the area.

However, an increase in material could, in turn, lead to a rise in the cost of building homes. That could lead to instability in the housing market, Sanford said.

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