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Rising lumber prices impact home-building process in Austin

The National Association of Home Builders says home builder confidence is lower for the single-family housing market.

AUSTIN, Texas — As if buying a house in Austin isn't hectic enough, it seems building one is even harder as builders are experiencing rising rising interest rates and higher costs for home materials like lumber.

Danielle Marchell, an Austin woman, said she is counting down the days until she's able to move into her very first home in the Easton Park neighborhood of South Austin. But until then she has to keep waiting.

"You're just left wondering, when am I going to move in?" said Marchell.

She said construction has been at a halt due to a lack of lumber and other materials. 

"For about a month my house has stalled in terms of construction. They're waiting on materials for my house, and so without that they cant do the interior work that needs to be completed," said Marchell.

Kyle Fernandez is a builder in Dripping Springs. He said this is something builders have been dealing with across the country. 

"The cost for lumber is up. I've asked my lumber reps why that is. They told me it's because some of the lumber mills are shut down or operating on reduced numbers because of COVID-19, but I also think it's because of high demand right now," said Fernandez.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, the heightened price of lumber is adding approximately $24,000 to the price of a new home.

"While I was on the wait list I saw the price for my home go up about $8,000. So unfortunately I wasn't able to backtrack and get the prior price when I first signed up," said Marchelle.

She said she drives by her future home every week to check on the progress.

"All of our closing dates were supposed to be the same time so it's like a whole development at a standstill because there's no material whatsoever," said Marchelle.

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