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Led by Ready-Mix Concrete, Building Materials Prices Inch Higher

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Building Materials

Led by Ready-Mix Concrete, Building Materials Prices Inch Higher

Ready-mix concrete prices are rising at a historic pace, and prices for other commonly used building materials aren't far behind

March 29, 2023
Workers spreading concrete on construction site
Image: Stuart Monk / Stock.adobe.com

After four consecutive monthly declines, the producer price index (PPI) for inputs to residential construction ex-energy rose 0.3% in February. Ready-mix concrete (RMC) prices continued to rise at a historic pace with a 0.8% increase in February.  RMC prices have increased in all but two months since January 2021, NAHB reports.

Prices for gypsum building materials and steel mill products also rose 0.5% and 2.6%, respectively, in February, but softwood lumber prices posted their seventh consecutive monthly decline with a 0.8% drop.

The months-long concrete price increases are partially due to the closure of a large limestone quarry in Mexico. And the concrete shortage isn’t limited to the United States — it’s a global shortage being driven by the dearth of one of concrete’s main ingredients: cement mix. This has resulted in price increases across the board, and there does not appear to be any relief on the horizon.

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Lumber Leads Building Materials Prices Higher in March

Overall, the cost of building materials rose during March, with softwood lumber, gypsum products, and concrete all seeing price increases. Only steel mill materials saw price drops

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