In general, construction costs remained flat in March with fuel (-6%) and metals (-0.4 to-9.5) dropping while lumber, plywood, gypsum, plastics and paint all rose. Overall the year over year increase was 0.9%. Design Cost Data News reports that “Associated General Contractors of America . . . . officials noted that contractors have kept the prices they charge to build structures level, leaving their margins vulnerable to price spikes for key inputs.”
“Ken Simonson, chief economist for the construction trade association, noted that the indexes for new nonresidential buildingsÑthe government’s measure of what contractors say they would charge to construct specific building typesÑwere little changed over the past month and year. The index for . . . . new office, industrial and warehouse buildings were flat in March and increased between 1.0 percent and 2.3 percent over the past year.Ó
While the year over year costs are remaining relatively flat, the typical annual increase in the spring will likely increase costs in May through the summer with them falling again in the late fall and winter.