November 2015 Whole House Commodity Index

November 2015 Whole House Graph


by Don Magruder, CEO of RoMac Building Supply

The Ro-Mac Lumber & Supply, Inc. Whole House Commodity Index in November increased 0.2% to $29,545.21, as pricing gyrated based on uneven demand.  There is little doubt that the markets are in turmoil with little direction, as the commodity sector is undergoing real pricing stress.  As the holidays and winter approach, there appears to be little on the demand side that could reverse these market jitters.

Price increases in OSB, trusses and spruce offset the declines of other building material sectors.

The following is the notable changes in this month’s Index:

  • Rebar dropped 8.2% on excess overseas demand.
  • CDX plywood dropped 1.4% while OSB sheathing added 12.0%.  The drop in plywood is probably foretelling a retreat in OSB that got too hot, too fast in price.
  • Spruce dimension increased plus-or-minus 5.0% with spruce studs adding about 4.0%.
  • Pine dimensional had wider widths remain flat-to-down with narrow 2×4 adding 9.6%.
  • Trusses added 4.1% on higher wood costs.
  • Architectural shingles dropped 3.1%, as manufacturers begin to really search for buyers.
  • Drywall retreated $10 per thousand on slower demand.

Demand is fully in the driver’s seat, and the lack of it is beginning to pinch manufacturers.  If the economy does not make a spark, this could be a long, cold and slow winter.  Expect pricing to meander lower as the holidays approach. Things could get really bad if the terrorism threat were to spread.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and be safe!

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