Construction Materials Cost Trends

November 2, 2011

Materials Prices on the Rise

A 5% increase in materials costs was the main driver of this year’s growth in construction costs, which rose again by 3-3.5%. Construction materials, especially steel and concrete, continued to rise in price after last year’s increases; steel gained the most at 7-8%. Lumber is slightly ahead of last year, when its unprecedented slide finally leveled off.

Adhesives and sealants rose in price by 5-6% in the first six months of 2011, building on last year’s gains of 2-3%. The price of oil has continued to drop since May and could affect future cost changes.

Prices for wood siding and optic cable have flattened after minor gains last year, with siding costs rising 5% and cable gaining 3% last year. Granite has still not recovered from the drop in demand caused by the economic downturn, posting flat results since 2004. Minus a brief flat period in the third quarter of 2010, vinyl floor covering is back to the steady 6% growth it has posted annually since 2004.