The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) 2022 Spring Leadership Meetings and Legislative Conference is set for the Washington Hilton, June 14-18.
Members of the Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA) geared up to attend the conference and meet with lawmakers representing the Greater Houston area to discuss issues affecting association members in Houston and across the country. These issues include:
Supply Chain Disruptions and Material Costs
The rising cost of building materials harms housing affordability as the cost, and limited supplies of softwood lumber, steel, aluminum, and other imported materials and equipment exacerbate price volatility and drive-up housing costs. In addition, the uncertainty about when supplies will be available to finish the home on time and whether the homes will be valued at the right price to reflect these rising costs only adds to the increasing costs of supplies.
Housing has been an economic bright spot amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but the industry’s potential to lead the economy forward is limited if building materials remain expensive and scarce. As a result, builders are doing everything possible to avoid pricing consumers out of homes while maintaining the competitive prices necessary to operate their businesses — especially given the potential long-term impacts on consumers.
Rapidly rising interest rates, rising home prices, and higher construction costs make it harder for builders to be confident and for people to afford homes.
Despite low inventory, builders report that sales traffic and current sales conditions have declined to their lowest points since last summer as a sharp jump in mortgage rates and persistent supply chain disruptions continue to unsettle the housing market.
A skilled and capable workforce that is adequate to meet our nation’s housing demand is vital to home builders. Unfortunately, despite competitive pay, the home building industry continues to experience labor shortages, further impacting housing affordability.
In a survey of NAHB members, 71% reported that the availability and cost of workers is one of the most significant challenges builders faced in 2021. This translates into higher building costs, extended project timelines, increased home prices, and lower economic growth.
NAHB has listed specific policy items that will positively impact our industry:
- First, the Biden Administration should suspend Canadian lumber tariffs and renegotiate a new softwood lumber agreement. The ongoing trade dispute has added more than $18,600 to the building cost of a single-family home since August of 2021.
- Next, Congress should pass the “No Timber from Tyrants Act,” legislation banning lumber imports from Russia and replacing the supply with responsibly grown, domestically sourced lumber.
- Finally, Congress should act on the “Ocean Shipping Reform Act.” This bill addresses current transportation issues that further clog the supply chain, from container ship backlogs off the coast of California to the lack of truck drivers nationwide.
Each of these actions would help alleviate the increases in costs that builders in Houston and across the nation are facing due to supply chain issues.