Lumber, OSB prices down; Gypsum reaches new high

The National Association of Home Builders reports that residential construction goods input prices declined, on average, in August as large monthly increases and decreases offset each other. NAHB research is based on the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Although the index for inputs to residential construction fell by 0.5% (not seasonally adjusted), it has increased more than twice as much in 2018 (+4.9%) as it did over the same period in 2017 (+2.0).

Perhaps the most concerning news in the report, NAHB says, was the relatively sharp increase in prices paid for gypsum products. Prices have climbed 6.1% (seasonally adjusted) since a two-month reprieve that saw the gypsum index decline 3.3% between May and July. February to April 2016 was the last two-month period in which gypsum prices rose by 6% or more.

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From January to August of 2017, the price index of gypsum products rose 3.9%. The index has more than doubled that pace in 2018, having increased 8.2%, year-to-date.

On a positive note, softwood lumber and OSB prices each decreased substantially in August (not seasonally adjusted). Softwood lumber fell 9.6%, its largest monthly decline per the PPI in over seven years (May 2011).

Read the full report from NAHB.