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Lumber Prices Spike 29% in September, Highest Monthly Gain on Record

Building Materials

Lumber Prices Spike 29% in September, Highest Monthly Gain on Record

October 15, 2020
 Stack of lumber in lumberyard
Photo: Communar /

Last month, prices paid for goods used in residential construction increased by 1.8%. NAHB says the core index for building materials declined in April, but is now up 4.4% compared to a year ago based on the latest Producer Price Index. Prices paid for softwood lumber alone jumped by nearly 29% in September, making it the fourth consecutive month lumber prices have increased by double-digit points. This is the largest monthly increase in lumber prices yet though. A new single-family home costs $17,000 more due to the lumber price increase alone. 

Prices paid for gypsum products climbed 0.2% in September following 0.2% and 0.4% declines in July and August, respectively (seasonally adjusted). Although it has decreased 2.8% YTD, the price index for gypsum products has risen 0.5% over the past 12 months.

Prices paid for ready-mix concrete (RMC) rose 1.5% in September (seasonally adjusted), a monthly increase the magnitude of which is atypical of the commodity.  The national PPI for RMC has increased by more than 1% just five of the 135 months since the end of the Great Recession.  The average annual change in prices paid for RMC was 2.6% over the last decade.

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