ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The COVID-19 pandemic is causing slowdowns in areas across the board. Now, lumber prices have jumped to new highs. It’s survival of the fittest with homes being taken off the market in an instant here in New Mexico and home buyers outnumbering homes available.

“Ones that are turn-key, move-in ready, lots of competitions only one winner meaning people have to go elsewhere,” said Albuquerque Real Estate Agent, Elizabeth Benedict. Benedict says she sees it every day.

Unfortunately, your odds aren’t looking much better when it comes to building your dream home. “Similar to what we were seeing with the housing market and still are with, lots of buyers not a lot of houses, we are seeing the same thing with construction materials,” said Benedict.

As the lumber shortage doubles the cost of building a home. “Locally, a custom home builder rep said a lumber package that used to cost $18,000 now costs $40,000,” said Benedict.

That increase creating a domino effect all over. “This is causing delays in when the home is going to be completed and also higher sales price in the new home to take into account for those higher material costs,” said Benedict.

Building isn’t impossible, but you have to be prepared to spend more than a pretty penny and look outside your ideal neighborhood. “We have communities in Mesa Del Sol, Four Hills, Westside of Rio Rancho but those are all on the outskirts,” said Benedict.

This is forcing some buyers to get creative with their offers. “Maybe they wave their appraisal or buying a home as-is,” said Benedict.

Like everything else, it’s still unclear when things could go back to normal. “Persistence is key when it comes to buyers you might not get the first one but you have to be ready,” said Benedict.