Go on, do a little math to tell me exactly how bad this is…..or not.
Average new home price: $350,000. 7% is in wood. ($24,500)
20% tariff (even if fully passed on which it almost always never is) totals $4900.
Total price increase on house? About 1.5%
That’s it. One and a half percent!!!!
If people are so pissed about such an egregious increase then maybe they can just buy a home already on the market, eh?
Mr. Ross didn’t put it quite that way. He said the Administration will impose a 20% tariff on softwood lumber imports from Canada, which total about $5 billion at year. But that’s a lot of lumber and the tariff will add an additional $1 billion in new costs for U.S. construction. Most of those costs will be added to the price of new American housing, not counting the higher costs that will come as U.S. producers raise their prices to match the competition and pad their bottom lines.
Yet while the cross-border haggling drags on, middle America is where the new lumber tariff will hit hardest. According to the National Association of Home Builders, 28% of U.S. softwood lumber purchases are Canadian imports and these are particularly important in the construction of single-family homes. Roughly 7% of the cost of an American home is the lumber and that cost is already up, on average, by some $3,000 this year. The Journal reports that “builders say lumber costs are already at the highest in a decade.” Labor shortages in construction, thanks in part to restrictions on immigration, are also pushing up costs.
With his announcement last week on steel and this week’s lumber action, Mr. Trump’s trade policy is coming into focus. He’ll use tariffs to restrict imports and appease domestic producers that have the best trade lawyers and lobbyists, while hoping consumers don’t notice the higher prices. Mr. Trump made it to the White House with the support of middle-class voters still yearning for the American dream.