Just in case you missed the announcement on lumber prices this month (and who wouldn't want to miss that??), they're up. Waaaaay up. 
The National Association of Home Builders, which monitors the cost of materials to build homes, has a pretty neat chart on the cost of framing lumber prices. At this time, they are up more than 45% from the same time last year. 
This is the cost of lumber builders use to frame all the homes across the U.S. Click this link for a quick look at the pricing and you'll see that the prices have been on the rise pretty much all through the recession. 
As you're shopping for properties this spring and if new construction is on your list, this will be a factor in what you're going to pay for a newly built home. Again - there's a perfect storm on purchasing a home right now instead of waiting. Prices are on the rise, but they've not hit the feeding frenzy price increases which are sure to come with a shrinking inventory, AND the cost of money is still very affordable (though I can't make the same promises about lumber!)
Have a question or need some sound advice on your sale or purchase? Call us here at Weichert Realtors in McLean (we serve Virginia, Maryland and D.C.) at (703) 821-8300.