The Price Of Living Room Furniture Has Gone Up Drastically

Unless you live under a rock, you've likely heard non-stop talk about inflation. In fact, it continues to be a hot-button topic for many people — and was a driving force in the midterm elections — not just in America, but throughout the world, as rates hit their highest peaks in decades. While many factors are at play, this is largely due to some unforeseeable events during the past couple of years: The pandemic, which caused major disruptions in supply chains, and the war in Ukraine, which further halted supplies of food and fuel, per Fortune.

And while grocery and gas prices dominate the headlines, people are also feeling the pinch elsewhere, especially at home furniture stores. More specifically, living room furniture costs have increased dramatically since 2018, with the sharpest increases occurring this year, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and assembled by House Digest.

To get a better sense of things, we perused various options for non-upholstered wood furniture and gleaned some insights about why costs continue to hit new peaks. So, why is that new furniture set so much more expensive than just a year ago? Let's look at the data.

Following the numbers

As displayed in this graph, which tracks the costs of wood living room furniture from April 2018 to July 2022 in the U.S., costs started to dramatically jump in July 2021. Many suppliers, while still deeply impacted by the initial pandemic-related supply shortages in the summer and autumn of 2020, only saw changes of 1% to 3% until January 2021. This may be explained by one major factor: stimulus checks.

The first and second checks were distributed in April 2020 and December 2020/January 2021, respectively, while the third check arrived in March 2021, reports These dates correlate with the sudden spikes in prices shown in this graph when supply chains couldn't meet consumer demand. 

But this doesn't explain the even sharper increases we saw in late 2021 and 2022. The reason for the major increases? It's likely due to the same reasons seen in other sectors: a major war overseas that blocked supplies and trade, interest rates kept low for decades after the 2008 market crash, and a catastrophic pandemic that impacted supply chains and labor forces, according to CNBC.

The big takeaway? You may want to wait a while before purchasing that new living room set. Instead, it may be beneficial to give your couch a little DIY love, build new furniture with recycled materials, or hit up your favorite thrift store for great deals in the meantime.