Q: Have building materials followed the downward trend of home prices?

A: Unfortunately, no. When the housing downturn first hit in 2008, building materials suppliers were left with a large surplus and production capacities (much like their builders), so they dropped prices to sell off inventory. Since then, they have slowed their production and lowered their inventories to serve a much smaller building demand – allowing them to raise prices for their products. At the same time, they have been hit with greater transportation costs (gas prices), more government regulation, and other costs that also affect pricing.