Cost to build a house on your land: It keeps going up

    If you've been thinking about building a house on your land, now is the time. Like many things in life, the cost to build a house keeps going up. Why? Because there are lots of factors involved in the cost to build a house. Everything from global commodities to the cost of local labor has an impact on the house you build.

    Here are a few key items impacting the cost to build a house on your land.

    Raw materials

     Steel prices have increased about 55% since pre-pandemic numbers in the past two years. There is still a tariff on steel imports, which further increases the total cost of anything steel that goes into building your house.

    Lumber prices are still up about 23% since before the pandemic, when you include the engineered wood materials needed to build a home. And there's a lot of lumber involved in building any home!

    Transportation costs

    We're probably all aware that oil prices have been increasing, which means everyone pays more at the gas pump, including companies transporting goods for your new home. Fuel surcharges have increased about 11% and total freight costs close to 20% since before the pandemic. All of those extra costs to get materials to your building site are included in the increasing price of those materials.

    Market dynamics

    Many factors go into how the market overall is doing and what it ultimately costs to build your house. These include things like import tariffs, mortgage rates, health care costs, unemployment rate, and so on. None of these things are in your control or in the control of a builder—it's just part of how the market and economics works.

    I'm not an economist, but I don't expect costs to go down dramatically anytime soon. So if you've been thinking about building a custom home, try to get started sooner rather than later before costs increase even more.

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