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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 more than 70% in the past two years. This year, there's the addition of a 25% tariff on steel imports, which further increases the total cost of anything steel that goes into building your house.

Lumber prices are also up nearly 50% in the past two years. And there's a lot of lumber involved in building any home! Glass mat shortages are increasing the price of shingles, which are also pretty important for a house.

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%. 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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