According to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Building materials prices have declined just twice since December 2019 and have increased 19.4% over the past 12 months. Year to date, materials have increased 13%, with the same period in 2020 only increasing 1.1%.

On the lumber front: The PPI for softwood lumber (seasonally adjusted) decreased 29.0% in July—the largest monthly decline since tracking of the series began in 1947. Prior to 2020, the largest monthly drop in the softwood lumber PPI was a -10.7% reading from April 1980. The steep decrease came on the heels of an unexpectedly mild 0.7% decline in June as the cash price of lumber began falling precipitously in mid-May.

Whereas prices for some other materials have been mostly rising:Prices paid for gypsum products increased 2.5% in July and is up 15.8% year-to-date. Over the past 12 months, the index has climbed 21.7%–the largest 12-month increase since July 2006 (NSA).

Steel mill products prices climbed 10.8% in July following a 6.2% increase in June. The pace of increases has hastened each of the past two months and prices have climbed 108.6 % over the past 12 months and 87.6% in 2021 alone.

Prices paid for ready-mix concrete (RMC) were unchanged in July (seasonally adjusted) after increasing 1.1% increase in June.

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