Construction material prices continue their rise

wood apt construction

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its Producer Price Index for March on Tuesday. It showed that overall prices for processed goods for intermediate demand were unchanged from February but they increased 5.3 percent from a year earlier. Construction material prices advanced 1.2 percent from February, 2018 and were 4.5 percent higher than a year earlier.

Multihousing Pro again waded into the tables of data provided by the BLS to select a sampling of the commodities necessary to build an apartment building. The two right hand columns of the table provide the percent change in the price of the commodity from a year earlier (12 Mo PC Change) and the percent change in price from February, 2018 (1 Mo PC Change).

The table shows that prices for softwood products are continuing the surge that was evident in last month’s data. Price changes for many other construction materials remained relatively moderate, although the prices of concrete and concrete products made a significant jump from last month’s levels.

Commodity 12 Mo PC Change 1 Mo PC Change
Softwood lumber 16.3 2.2
Hardwood lumber 6.5 -0.2
General millworks 2.4 0.3
Soft plywood products 29.1 7.2
Waferboard and oriented strandboard (OSB) 6.3 9.3
Hot rolled steel bars, plates and structural shapes 8.9 2.0
Copper wire and cable 9.9 1.5
Power wire and cable 14.7 -3.5
Builder’s hardware 1.8 -0.2
Plumbing fixtures and fittings 4.5 -0.1
Enameled iron and metal sanitary ware 3.2 0.0
Furnaces and heaters 1.5 0.1
Sheet metal AC ducts and stove pipe 0.7 0.0
Electrical Lighting fixtures 0.7 0.0
Nails 4.4 -0.4
Major appliances 3.5 1.2
Flat glass 7.3 0.4
Ready mix concrete 6.7 3.0
Asphalt roofing and siding 0.2 1.1
Gypsum products 8.4 0.0
Mineral wool insulation 2.9 0.0