Lumber prices have risen by 44% as of late April from the year earlier. The Random Lengths’ composite price for lumber sold on the spot market stood at $434 per thousand board feet as of April 19 compared with $302 on April 20, 2012. And that $434 price is good compared with a few weeks earlier, when it hit $451 per thousand. Analysts predict that lumber prices will keep rising. The main reason is because of increased demand due to the return of home building. But lately a new problem has arisen: Mills in Canada have a shortage of rail cars to carry their lumber to U.S. markets.