November 2017 Whole House Commodity Index

November 2017 Whole House Graph


by Don Magruder, CEO of RoMac Building Supply

The Ro-Mac Lumber & Supply, Inc. Whole House Commodity Index for November dropped 1.3 percent to $32,729.15 as sheathing products went into full retreat.  As the weather turns cooler and the hurricanes of fall grow dimmer in memory, it is obvious the market is overpriced in sheathings.  Continued declines in sheathing are expected and as the snow begins to fall and consumers begin thinking about Santa Claus expect other products to follow.

Here are the notable price movers in the Index for the last 30 days:

  • Wire mesh dropped 3.7 percent and foundation rebar 13.5 percent on heavier availability.
  • CDX dropped 1.8 percent while OSB sheathing collapsed 26.0 percent on overpricing during hurricane season.
  • Pine dimensional lumber was down in all sizes.  2×4 was off 1.6 percent, 2×6 down 2.9 percent, and 2×12 pine down 6.8 percent.
  • Dimensional spruce increased on the continued problems between the United States and Canada in regards to the Softwood Lumber Agreement.  2×4 spruce jumped 8.3 percent while 2×6 spruced added 7.3 percent.  Oddly, spruce studs printed down 1.4 percent as buyers tried to sort this complicated issue out.

Manufacturers and suppliers are beginning to announce price increases for the first quarter.  Thus far, price increases have been announced in drywall, doors, and windows.  Based on current projections, some of these price increases will probably stick while more aggressive increases will be subjected to heavy market pushback.

Winter weather and the politics in Washington, D.C. will probably drive the markets the most over the next few months.  Both are impossible to predict and it could be like spinning a roulette wheel—boom or bust. There should be minimal upside risk in pricing through December based on the high prices of the last few months.

I hope you have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.  Please remember those who are less fortunate.

The Ro-Mac Lumber & Supply, Inc. Whole House Commodity Index is based on wholesale costs of the base components to build a 2,200-square foot wood frame home with a concrete stem wall in Central Florida.  The Index includes foundation, metal, concrete, block, stucco, cement, wood framing, siding, sheathings, trusses, roofing, drywall, insulation, windows, doors, trim, garage doors, and most building hardware.  It does not include décor, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, landscaping, or labor.  Because the Index uses current wholesale costs, this should be a strong indicator of the direction of building prices for the next 30-45 days.

Don Magruder is the Chief Executive Officer of Ro-Mac Lumber & Supply, Inc. in Central Florida.  Go to to sign-up for the Index and other free market reports.  To sign-up for this information via email, contact Rebecca Ballash at