Brought to you by
KIRO Radio's Tom Kelly digs deep into the Puget Sound real estate market
Real Estate

Building material shortages hinder scheduling

Shortages of key building materials-such as lumber and wall board-are a major barrier to a more robust recovery for the new-home industry, according to David Crowe, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders.

Recent surveys by NAHB and the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association show supply constraints and price increases are keeping construction rates far below what is considered normal and necessary to meet demand, Crowe said.

Builders report that in the last six months alone there has been a 5.17 percent increase, on average, in building materials that go into a home. Lumber dealers have reported that prices of products in the last six months have risen by 10 percent or more. According to the surveys, the highest reported shortages for building materials were for oriented strand board, wall board, framing lumber, and plywood.

Still, "the shares of reported shortages are not as high now as they were in 2004 or 2005, but the increases since 2012 are quite significant, especially when you take the early stage of the housing recovery into account," Crowe said. "In 2004 and 2005 the home building industry was producing over 1.8 million new homes a year, while the current rate of new housing starts is still below 1 million."

Michael O'Brien, NLBMDA president and CEO, said that material shortages and price increases will "continue to be a cause for concern as we move into the latter half of 2013."

Top Stories

  • Working Through It
    State troopers stay on the job despite seeing their own homes burn down

  • Top Dollar
    Fans turning to the secondary market will pay a hefty premium to see the Seahawks

  • Smokey Bear
    As crews battle multiple wildfires, we take a look back at the at fire prevention's spokesbear
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Mortgage Calculator
Enter Your Details & Click the Calculate Button
Loan Amount $
Annual Interest Rate %
Term of Loan Years
Number of Payments
Monthly Payment $
Brought to you by

This is not a commitment to lend. Terms subject to change without notice. Applicant must qualify to receive credits. A division of Pinnacle Capital Mortgage Corp. WA CL 81395, Equal Housing Lender, MLO 70765.
Listen to the show
Hear Real Estate Today on KIRO Radio
Join Tom Kelly every Sunday at 9am on KIRO Radio to talk Puget Sound real estate.

Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.