Atlanta, Despite the soaring costs of building materials in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, The Home Depot is so far holding prices steady, thanks to its policy of locking in prices for months at a time and of freezing prices that its stores charge following disasters.
Lowe’s has raised prices slightly since the hurricane. “But they are still lower than they were last year,” said company spokesperson Karen Cobb. Nationwide, builders and consumers are paying from 10% to 50% more for certain types of lumber.
Experts are attributing most of the current price increases to speculation and panic buying.