Anyone who has been paying attention has probably noticed that the price of many goods are not only rising, but exploding. Food, gas and building-material prices have risen every month for nearly a year.
I am in the building trades and have never seen anything like the escalation of costs in the 35 years that I have been working. I keep hearing that this is being driven by the pandemic but at a certain point that is hard to accept. Did the American plantation forests disappear? Is every mill in the U.S. and Canada closed? Did Brazil, where most of our plywood is coming from, stop making it?
A year ago, my associates and I in the building trades were concerned when a sheet of three-quarter-inch plywood hit $34. Currently, with tax included, it is more than $74. It is the same with all the items that go into building a house. My question is, are companies taking advantage of the current situation and, if so, who will step in to put a stop to it?
The building industry is a leading economic indicator. New home construction drives a large segment of the economy. If prices do not revert to pre-pandemic levels it will hurt the nascent recovery. Without federal intervention I am certain they will not.
Richard Shea, Cold Spring