Demand Predicted to Increase as Housing Market Recovers
Housing completions fell by 7.3% between April 2020 and May 2020 and declined by 9.3% in May 2020 versus May 2019. The specialty trade contracting industry gained 325,300 jobs between April 2020 and May 2020 however industry employment was down 6.4% in May 2020 compared to May 2019. Demand for drywall is predicted to increase as the housing market recovers from COVID-19. Gypsum prices rose by 1.5% in May 2020 after a decline of 1.3% in April 2020. Prices are down 8.3% from the most recent peak in March 2018.
The shutdown of non essential construction left many construction projects unfinished. Since drywall and insulation installations typically occur towards the end of the project, in many cases this work was not completed. This created the risk of material degradation as well as water damage for partially built structures. Some contractors are concerned that there could be a decline in construction spending once projects started earlier in the year are completed. This is because developers may be more cautious until the economy has fully recovered.
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