Think the decrease in demand for new home construction is resulting in lower prices for building materials. Think again.
According to the September 16 producer price index (PPI) report by the U.S. Labor Department, prices for construction materials edged up 0.2% in August. Prices are 3.6% higher than one year ago.
Nonferrous wire and cable prices increased 1.8% for the month and are up 8.7% compared to August 2009. Prices for plumbing fixtures and fittings were up 0.6% in August and up 1.2% from the same time last year. Prices for concrete products inched up 0.5% for the month, but are down 1.1% from August 2009 levels.
Softwood lumber prices slid for a third straight month, down 3.1% in August. However, prices are still 6.8% higher on a year-over-year basis. Iron and steel prices were down 1.5% in August, the third straight monthly price decrease. But, prices are still 18.2% higher than they were one year ago. Steel mill product prices were down 3.9% August, but were still up 17.1% from last August. Prepared asphalt, tar roofing and siding prices slipped 0.9% in August, but were up 8.6% over the last twelve months. Prices for fabricated structural metal products decreased 0.2% for the month, but were up 2.8% compared to August 2009.
Overall, the nation’s wholesale prices increased 0.4% last month and are 3.1 percent higher from August 2009.
Are you waiting for the price of that new home you’d like to build to drop further? I wouldn’t.
Chuck Miller GMB CGB CGP MIRM CMP MCSP CSP
President / Builder – Chuck Miller Construction Inc.