• Gypsum products such as wallboard and plaster, up 4.4 percent in February, after an 11.8 percent jump in January, and a cumulative rise of 17.8 percent over the past 12 months.
• Lumber and plywood, up 2.3 percent in February and 15.8 percent from a year ago.
• Insulation, up 2.1 percent in February and 5.9 percent for the year.
• Diesel (freight), up 7.2 percent for the month and 3.8 percent year over year.
Prices for other materials, such as copper, brass, aluminum, steel, asphalt and concrete prices, were mixed, the AGC reported.
The increases are hitting just as contractors and homebuilders are ready to expand on a modest recovery in demand, while homebuyers and commercial users aren't necessarily in as good spirits. If appraisers aren't staying up to speed and lenders remain as squeamish — and tight — as they've been the past five or six years, well, then, there's that. For now.
You might or might not want to hug a builder. You definitely should brace yourself.
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