A 19.88 percent duty rate on Canadian softwood lumber exports could raise home prices by more than $1,000
This week the Department of Commerce enacted a 19.88 percent duty rate against Canadian softwood lumber exports. Both builders, who use the wood to construct house frames, and homebuyers will soon suffer the consequences.
The NAHB says that the annual impact of the duties will include $498 million in lost wages for U.S. workers and $350 million in taxes for the government. The duties will cut 8,241 full-time U.S. jobs, not just in construction, but also in transportation, architecture, engineering, and the sawmill industry.
The average 19.88 percent duty, according to NAHB, will also lead to a reduction of 1.2 billion board feet in Canadian imports and a 6.4 percent increase in prices.
Since lumber will be more expensive, home prices will rise. NAHB projects a $1,236 increase in the price of an average single-family home, and a $945.1 million reduction in investment in single-family structures.