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Construction materials see sharp increase in price, here’s why

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"I don't think anybody expected it to be this high, this long."

Grant Leavitt, Marcus Lumber

SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - If you've wanted to start a home improvement project or even looked at building a new house, you may have noticed the high price of lumber and building supplies.

Grant Leavitt works in purchasing for Marcus Lumber in Marcus, Iowa and he says the reason for the high price in lumber is because when the pandemic first started there was a notion there wouldn't be much demand for housing.

"They've never really been able to keep up or get ahead with where things are now because the exact opposite happened. There was big housing demand. Even locally there remains strong demand for housing," said Leavitt. "So, it's been a rat race ever since the first era of the pandemic.

Causing the demand to go up exponentially.

"They're 200% or 300% higher than where they were this time last year, and that doesn't necessarily mean that a new home costs that much more," said Leavitt. " A lot of the other products going in the house are increasing now due to the fact that the raw materials are increasing.

Leavitt says supply and demand will eventually balance things out, just not as quickly as some would hope for.

"Where prices were a year ago, it could be many years till we see those prices again," said Leavitt. "This could just be signaling that there was a lot more demand for these products than what people thought and now that the producers are getting the prices that they want it could be a while till things get to be back to what the old normal was," said Leavitt.

Leavitt adds even if prices drop 50% from where they are now, it would still be an all-time high.

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Emily Schrad

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