The housing market has been booming during the COVID-19 crisis, but America’s cities are taking it on the chin.
And while big cities like New York and San Francisco, in particular, are struggling with falling prices, values in less densely populated cities such as Phoenix and Charlotte, North Carolina, are holding up fairly well, a new analysis shows.
The study underscores that the spread of the virus and the trend toward remote work are driving the housing market, and may continue to restrain price growth in very crowded urban areas while boosting gains in more suburban areas for some time.
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Since the virus began to take a significant toll on public health and the economy in March, many Americans have been fleeing cities for suburban and rural areas both to minimize the risk
The cost of lumber has more than tripled in the past five months, adding to the cost of new homes and do-it-yourself projects.
As of Monday, lumber prices had risen 170% since the middle of April, said Steve Martinez, owner of Tradewinds General Contracting in Boise.
“That equates to a $16,000 increase in the cost of an average new home,” Martinez said by phone.
Demand was high before the coronavirus pandemic struck in mid-March, when one-fourth to one-third of Northwest mills shuts down for several weeks, cutting the supply, Martinez said. He serves on the finance committee of the National Association of Homebuilders and is former president of the Building Contractors Association of Southwestern Idaho .
The closures came amid moves to obey pandemic health regulations and because of an anticipated drop in demand, the National Association of Homebuilders said.
Boise Cascade Co, a wood-products manufacturer based in