New Tariff on Canadian Lumber Could Make Buying a Home Even More Expensive

What do a new tariff on Canadian softwood lumber and rising US home prices have in common? More than many American home buyers might realize.

The Trump administration imposed a 20% tariff on the lumber coming from our neighbors to the north last week in a bid to help US timberproducers. But American builders rely on that wood–about a third of the softwood lumberthey use in new-home construction comes from Canada. So as builders see their costs rise, they are expected to pass them on to buyers, making an already bad housing crunch that much worse.

The National Association of Home Builders estimates builders are going to spend about $3,600 more on lumber to construct a new home. Thatwill price more than 525,000 households out of the new-home market, the group estimates.