Recovery of Housing Industry Sends Material Costs Soaring

The country's home-building machinery were hit hard during the recession. Now that the housing sector is witnessing increased demand, prices have increased for a number of key construction materials. Not surprisingly, builders are passing those costs onto consumers -- both those buying new homes and those remodeling kitchens, bathrooms, and other places in the house. Tall Timber Group President Jeff Burd notes, "Half the cost of a new house is materials. If the cost of materials goes up, the price of the house goes up. By contrast, if the cost of materials went up during the recession, most builders would not pass the cost on to buyers." At the same time, many of the manufacturers that supply building materials have been operating at depressed levels and are now scrambling to meet the demands of the budding residential real estate recovery. To this end, the lag time in restarting closed plants and hiring workers to staff them has been a definite factor in soaring materials prices.

From "Recovery of Housing Industry Sends Material Costs Soaring"
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (07/05/13) Grant, Tim

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