Building Material Prices Increased in July

August 13, 2019
red brick wall
Photo: Unsplash/Namroud Gorguis

Prices paid for residential construction materials increased by 0.7% in July after months of decreases, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

Building materials prices have declined an average of 0.1% per month over the last 12 months, compared to an average monthly increase of 0.8% during the same period 2017-2018. The price of goods used in residential construction has risen 2.8% in 2019, roughly half the pace of 2018 increases, year-to-date.

The PPI report shows that softwood lumber prices rose 2.0% (not seasonally adjusted) in July—the first increase in four months. Even after the increase, the index for softwood lumber is nearly 20% lower than it was in July 2018.

The price index for gypsum products reversed its downward trend in July, increasing 2.2% (seasonally adjusted). Gypsum prices have increased in four of the prior 12 months, but have declined by 4.1% and 7.3% since January 2019 and July 2018, respectively.

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