SASKATOON -- Wood artist Loch Willy creates decorative wings as a hobby – and says the cost to make them rose to almost $100 during the pandemic from $45.

“It has been frustrating over the last year to not be able to really be able to pursue that because of the high cost of lumber,” Willy said.

He’s been using remnant pieces of wood a lot more but looks forward to a time when he can return to normal and get his side project off the ground once again. He donates the art to various locations around Saskatoon.

That time may be coming soon, says Keith Willoughby, dean of The Edwards School of Business at The University of Saskatchewan.

He says lumber prices peaked in May but appear to be on the way down.

“If you’re looking to see if there’s a bit more a lowering that will happen, I think we are going to see that which will position you well for a fall project.”

He doubts that prices will ever go back to where they were before the pandemic because there’s an expectation built into the market now, in terms of prices that people are willing to absorb.

“We had a price pre-pandemic that was probably a third of what they are now, and so the industry is seeing the prices that consumers are willing to bear,” he says.

Willoughby says the pandemic has created unique situations in all markets and industries around the world and he expects to be teaching about it to his students into the future.