The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) found the total overall costs for residential construction materials fell more than ever before during the month of April. Prices paid for these industry commodities fell 4.1%.
This significant decline in residential construction prices for goods contributes to the year-to-date decline, which now stands at -5.4%. Up until now, the lowest recorded year-to-date decline was seen in 2009, which was -1.3%—a marked contrast to today’s much lower showing.
Statistics regarding building materials included in the report reveal that from April 2019, the cost of building materials has seen a 6.6% decrease in price. This accounts for the monthly average until today experiencing a decline of roughly -.06% per 30-day period from April 2018 to April 2019.
The index has bottomed out and currently sits at its lowest position since the year 2017 when the month of August witnessed its own record low.
Gypsum products saw a 1.3% fall during April, following a previous uptick of 2.2% that was reported in March. It was revealed in the report that gypsum products’ price index has fallen an estimated 4.4% during 2020, and an even greater percentage (9.5%) since its last height experienced in 2018 during the month of March.
April’s softwood lumber costs fell 10.8%, according to the NAHB. However, this information does not match data reported by Random Lengths, which reported a far less significant change of a 2.7% decline during April. This apparently rivaling data has been attributed to the simple factor of varying survey times, with NAHB’s information not yet reflecting the decline over the last 10 days of March.
As for April’s ready-mix concrete (RMC) statistics, they revealed a 0.4% decline (seasonally adjusted) during April. This came directly after March’s previous uptick of 0.7%. The year-to-date RMC index has risen 1.1%, making it a contender for setting a historic record for the average YTD price change during the month of April.
The report further explored how the specific regions in the nation varied regarding building material prices. Overall, the national data suggested that prices stayed relatively the same from March to April in the Northeast regions, while the nation’s Midwestern regions experienced a 0.2% fall. The South saw a decrease of 0.1% in prices, and the Western regions reported an actual uptick of 1.9% (not seasonally adjusted).