Building material prices continue to rise

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Construction materials on a project site in Robins. RICHARD PRATT PHOTO

According to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices of goods used in residential construction excluding energy (unadjusted for seasonality) rose 1.4% in March, after rising revised upwards from 2.2% in February. and 4.1% in January. This represents an 8% increase in building material prices since the start of 2022.

Year-over-year, building material prices have risen 20.4% and 33% since the start of the pandemic.

The residential construction services input price index recorded even more pronounced increases, rising 3.2% in March, 5.1% in February and 6.2% in January. As a result, the price index for services used in housing construction (including market services, transportation and warehousing) has risen by 15.2% since the start of the year. Year over year, the index increased by 18.5%. Counting since the start of the pandemic, prices for services are now 39% higher.

Steel products – In contrast to overall price increases for building materials, prices for steel products (NSA) fell 4.9% in March, the third consecutive monthly decline after record increases in the previous 15 months. While the first three months of 2022 have been good months for the cost of steel derivatives, the price index has more than doubled since the start of the pandemic.

Softwood lumber – The lumber PPI (seasonally adjusted) rose 6% in March after rising 2.6% in February and jumping 25.6% in January. As a result, the index rose 36.7% in the first three months of 2022. Since hitting its most recent low in September 2021, prices have nearly doubled, rising 90.4%.

ready concrete – The PPI for ready-mixed concrete (RMC, SA) fell 0.6% in March but remains elevated after climbing relentlessly over the previous 13 months. It is 9% higher than in January 2021.

Gypsum products – The Gypsum Products (SA) PPI rose 1.6% in March. Year over year, prices for gypsum products are 20.8% higher.

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