After rising for 18 months straight, construction material prices fell for the second consecutive month in April, posting a 1.1% annual decline, Construction Dive reports. The most notable year-over-year construction input declines include a 64.1% drop in prices for natural gas and a 38.9% decline in softwood lumber prices, which were particularly volatile mid-pandemic.
Some materials, such as cement, concrete products, and gypsum products, are still seeing year-over year increases, however, with gains of 13.7%, 13.2%, and 12.1%, respectively.
“Despite the annual decline in input costs, contractors’ profit margins are still under pressure,” said [Anirban] Basu. “Due to higher borrowing costs and labor costs and the substantial increase in materials prices over much of 2021 and 2022, the proportion of contractors that expect their profit margins will increase over the next two quarters has slipped in recent months.”