Prices Down in December for Residential Construction Materials

January 16, 2019
Steel frame
Photo: Unsplash/Ricardo Gomez Angel

The cost of materials inputs to residential construction decreased in December 2018, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Prices went down 1.8 percent (not seasonally-adjusted); softwood lumber prices grew 1.0 percent, following five consecutive months of declines, while OSB dropped in price 12.0 percent in December after a 13.7 percent drop in November. In 2018 overall, prices paid for OSB fell 22.4 percent. Gypsum prices paid grew 1.8 percent (NSA) and 0.5 percent (seasonally-adjusted), with 3 percent growth on the year, according to The National Association of Home Builders' analysis.

Data from Random Lengths shows even steeper declines over the latter half of 2018. Unlike the PPI, which excludes the prices of imports, Random Lengths data includes purchases in the United States and Canada regardless of the country of origin. These data show that the prices of OSB and softwood lumber have fallen 52.0 percent and 43.0 percent, respectively, since June’s high mark.

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