Supply chain woes have been hitting the housing market, affecting appliances, windows, paint, and other items needed to build, repair, or improve home. That has driven prices higher.
New-home buyers have felt the pinch: The median sales price for a new home in October was $407,700, up 17.5% compared to the same time a year ago, according to realtor.com® data. Builders point to higher material costs, as well as labor and lot shortages.
The blame for the bottlenecks has been placed on a variety of causes: the ongoing pandemic, Americans buying more for their homes, a shortage of shipping containers, added tariffs on goods, and other issues. A lack of workers at ports and drivers is also slowing logistics, analysts say.
“Consumers should expect continued frustration with delays and rising prices,” Ali Wolf, chief economist at Zonda, a building consulting firm, told realtor.com®.
Lumber prices remain high, with softwood jumping 70% since the pandemic began. They are down from summer peaks but remain well above pre-pandemic levels. “Those declines in lumber prices have had a positive effect, but they have not come down all the way,” Robert Dietz, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders, told realtor.com®. “And the pricing of just about everything else has gone up.”
Household appliance backlogs are also pressing on the housing market. Unfilled orders have nearly doubled since the pandemic began, realtor.com® notes. “Whether it’s a remodeling project or a new build, delays in the supply chain are having an impact here in the housing market,” Dietz says.
Costs for paint also have increased, jumping 15% compared to 2019, realtor.com® finds. Paint suppliers are struggling to keep up with the high demand from new-home construction and homeowners’ remodeling projects, housing analysts say.
Furniture costs are up as well—prices on home furnishings are up 5% since 2019, realtor.com® notes. Furniture retailers are reporting that many consumers are waiting months rather than weeks for their furnishings to be delivered.