Trade tariffs are hammering homebuilders with higher materials prices

Steve Brown, Real Estate Editor

Higher interest rates aren’t the only thing pushing up new home costs.


Billions of dollars in tariffs on imported lumber, steel and other building materials are adding thousands of dollars to the price of new North Texas homes.

Rising costs of building materials — including higher cost of labor and land  — are becoming the biggest challenges for the nation’s homebuilding sector. That is especially true for builders in Dallas-Fort Worth, where at least 32,000 new homes are expected to be built this year — more than any other U.S. metro area.

“All these tariffs are adding up to major increases for us,” said Dallas custom homebuilder Jeff Dworkin. “It’s hard to even guess right now what your lumber prices are going to be for a job. Lumber companies are only giving us 30 days notice at best to rising prices.”

Lumber is the biggest component of a new home. An average house last year had more than $60,000 in wood products.

Since early last year, lumber costs have shot up by more than 60 percent. That’s added almost $9,000 to the price of an average new home, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

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