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Don’t Get Too Excited About the Recent Drop in Construction Costs

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It can be easy to feel battered by the effects of the pandemic over the past few months. Construction workers are looking for any kind of relief, and may think they have found it with a recent drop in construction costs. 

But the Leader-Telegram gives us reasons not to get so excited just yet. Citing a report from IHS Markit, it notes that even though nationwide construction and engineering prices dropped in June, local builders are not seeing a large decline in what they pay, and the cost of materials has risen in some cases due to supply constraints.

“Lumber in particular has increased substantially mainly due to unexpectedly high demand getting ahead of the reopening of the mills and factories,” Dallas Builders Association Executive Officer Phil Crone told the newspaper. “The same thing is happening with HVAC equipment, where some factories have closed due to COVID cases and there aren’t enough delivery drivers.”

Builders also are encountering challenges from shipping problems. “Sourcing materials from overseas such as plumbing and lighting fixtures are encountering significant delays,” he told the Leader-Telegram. “What used to take three or four weeks to arrive from China now takes 10 to 12 [weeks]. Even materials from states like California that are sidelined have left builders scrambling for new sources from places that are working.”

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