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Pandemic continues to impact rising prices of lumber, cars, home sales

It's a gloomy time for home improvement, as contractors like Bob Henderson adapt to supply shortages sparked by the pandemic.

News 12 Staff

Apr 29, 2021, 9:49 PM

Updated 1,149 days ago

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COVID-19 cases may be under control, but its impact on the economy certainly is not.
It's a gloomy time for home improvement, as contractors like Bob Henderson adapt to supply shortages sparked by the pandemic.
"We were on a two- to three-week wait, which is fine because we can prepare for that. Now, it's two to three months for an item which should be a stock item," says Henderson, owner and president of Hendo Contracting.
On top of the wait, the shortage of lumber has skyrocketed prices 232% in the last year.
"Plywood was always under $25 for a 4-by-8 sheet. Recently, it was $55, and I saw one place charging almost $70 a sheet," says Henderson.
Lumber prices aren't the only costs going up - if you're in the market for a new, car those are reaching record highs.
It's now up 8% from last year because of a computer chip shortage. The average car has anywhere between 50 to 150 chips.
Home sales also hitting record highs, as gas prices jumping 25 cents a gallon in the last month and food prices rise as well.
"We have seen all food prices, from February of last year to February of this year, all food prices up 3.7%, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture," says George Repic, Rockland Community College's dean of business and professional studies.
A big factor is that nearly all industries had production paused throughout the pandemic, leaving supply chains nowhere near current demand.
"It will pass – it happens, things spike up, everything will pass," says Henderson.
News 12 reached out to Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Mondaire Jones about the rising prices and is waiting to hear back.


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