With the recent increases in the price of many residential construction materials, and in particular softwood lumber, NAHB wanted to get a better understanding of how these price increases are impacting remodelers. In the Q3 2020 Remodeling Market Index (RMI), remodelers were asked to report on material shortages, if any, as well as material price changes over the last six months.
Results show that a significant share of remodelers (77 percent) report a framing lumber shortage, with 25 percent reporting a serious shortage and 52 percent reporting some shortage (Figure 1). In recent months the cost of softwood lumber has jumped to extraordinary levels. In fact, the Producer Price Index (PPI) for softwood lumber has nearly doubled over the last five months (90.9 percent increase), the largest increase since 1975 for the seasonally adjusted series. This price increase has undoubtedly impacted lumber’s availability for remodeling projects and for home construction, in general.
Behind framing lumber, at least 60 percent of remodelers report shortages for three other materials: windows and doors (65 percent), plywood (63 percent), and oriented strand board (OSB) (61 percent) – all construction products commonly derived from softwood lumber. At least 17 percent of remodelers report having a serious shortage for all three of these materials.
At least 40 percent of remodelers report shortages for four other materials: millwork (45 percent), plumbing fixtures & fittings (44 percent), trusses (43 percent), and cabinets (41 percent) – three of which involve lumber. Very small shares of remodelers report shortages on clay brick (10 percent), concrete brick and block (11 percent), steel (lightweight for framing) (12 percent), and structural insulated panels (SIP) (another 12 percent). It is important to also note that 34 percent of remodelers report that they are experiencing shortages for ‘other’ materials not listed. Many reported appliances as the ‘other’ material.
Remodelers were also asked to specify how much total material costs have changed over the last six months for a typical project. Results show that 25 percent of remodelers report cost increases of 20 percent or more (Figure 2).