Home builders can expect lumber prices to remain fairly stable for 2009, and they're now at levels about one-third lower than they were at the height of the housing boom, according to reports from Random Lengths .
The Random Lengths Framing Lumber Composite Price  has been hovering in the $230 to $240 range (per thousand board feet) since mid-June, which reflects a 15 percent increase since the low point earlier this year. But it's still down from prices a year ago that were in the $260 to $270 range. The Random Lengths Structural Panel Composite Price was higher, most recently reported to be $273, down from the year-ago price of $316.
Reed Construction Data  Chief Economist James Haughey says that no significant increases are expected for the balance of 2009. However, he said, a “slow but steady rise is expected in 2010 when construction spending is again expanding.”