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Lumber shortage squeezing Michigan construction companies

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Michigan’s real estate market is hot these days with demand for single family homes driving up prices.   But the state’s home builders are struggling to build homes these days.

In the four-county region (Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne) in southeast Michigan in April, new home construction permits dropped 28% from the previous month.   

Bob Filka is with the home Builders Association of Michigan.  He says other parts of the state are seeing single-digit percentage declines.  

He blames a nationwide lumber shortage for driving up prices.

“Unfortunately for new home buyers that are building new, literally over the matter of a couple of weeks the price that they were initially quoted on that home could rise by thousands of dollars,” says Filka. 

Filka does not expect lumber prices to stabilize until next year. 

He says during the pandemic, many builders turned to renovation work.  But with the current lumber shortage, Filka says many of those jobs are drying up as well.

“We can weather the storm,” says Filka “but yeah it definitely has the threat of impacting a number of builders and contractors in our state.”

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Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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