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High lumber costs and influx of people raise costs of building homes in Tennessee

Experts said that along with higher costs of materials to build homes, people are also paying more for the land in Tennessee.

TENNESSEE, USA — People looking to build their homes in Tennessee could face a higher price tag.

Experts said that the price of lumber has increased more than 180% in the last year and that the costs of windows and bricks have risen too. Builders can face increasingly high costs to gather materials for building homes compared to previous years.

As a result of the rising cost of materials, houses in Tennessee are getting more expensive, officials said.

"We have homes that usually start in the $250,000s," said Jeff Burkhart, a developer in the state. "But, probably ten years ago, we had starter homes at $150,000 or $130,000. And it's just in the last ten years, with the prices of lumber and the prices of lots, and everything — it's just really escalated."

Experts also said that an influx of people moving to Tennessee is also driving up the prices for property. As a result, developers must pay more for materials and land to build homes on.

Some are starting to ask the federal government for help.

"They have recently, the first of this month, reached out to the White House, President Biden, and are trying to figure out a resolution on the price increase on all of the materials on homes," Randy Whetsell said, who works with developers.

Experts also said that the price jumps can also be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has caused shipping prices to rise and has shaken the labor market, which can make the price of new homes rise.