Building materials prices fell 0.3% in September, the third consecutive monthly decline since June, according to the most recent Producer Price Index (PPI) report. The last three months have seen the largest three-month drop since April 2020, with prices of inputs to residential construction down a total 2.3%, NAHB Eye on Housing reports.
The PPI for softwood lumber fell 2.9% in September following a 5.2% drop in August, while prices for steel mill products decreased 6.7% in September and have fallen 16.1% over the past four months. Prices for ready-mix concrete, on the other hand, climbed 1.4% higher in September for the sixth consecutive month, and that index is up 11.6% year-over-year.
The price index of services inputs to residential construction decreased 0.8% in September, driven by lower building materials wholesalers’ margins and freight transportation prices. Services prices have declined each of the last six months by a combined 12.4% and are at the lowest level since 2021. Despite the six-month decline, the PPI for services inputs to residential construction is 3.3% higher than it was in September 2021.
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