Survey: Building material shortage could dampen housing recovery
According to recent surveys by the National Association of Home Builders and the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association, home builders and lumber dealers are experiencing significant shortages in building materials, a supply constraint that threatens to hamper recent gains in the housing market recovery.
This report comes amid promising May figures for existing-home sales, though the National Association of Realtors cautioned that new home construction rates will not satisfy the growing demand for sales for very long.
Lumber dealers were hit by supply shortages the hardest, with 36% reporting shortages of framing lumber, 27% to 28% reporting shortages of oriented strand board and plywood, and 12% lacking wall board.
Oriented strand board was the biggest problem area for builders (22%), with 20% lacking wall board and 18% experiencing a shortfall in both framing lumber and plywood.
"Supply constraints are one of the barriers to a more robust recovery," said NAHB chief economist David Crowe. "The shortages and price increases reported by both home builders and lumber dealers are particularly concerning given that the current rate of construction is still far below what would be considered normal or necessary to meet underlying demand."
According to Crowe, the shortages are not as high as they were in 2004 or 2005, but the numbers last month were considerably higher than they were in 2012 or 2011.
PEOPLE IN THE NEWS: Tom Dunn
KB Homes has appointed Tom Dunn as the newest president of its D.C. Metro division. With 20 years of home-building experience specific to the Washington, D.C., area, Dunn will oversee the entirety of the company’s regional operations.
Previously, Dunn held leadership positions at M/I Homes and NVR Homes and was most recently owner and founder of residential property firm BMD Investments.
"Tom brings a wealth of home-building experience in the D.C. area to this role, so we are excited to have him leading the charge as we aggressively grow our business around our nation’s capital," said regional president Vince DePorre. "We have seen a meaningful increase in demand for our award-winning, energy-efficient new homes in the Washington, D.C., market over the past few years and are excited about the opportunity to deliver more of our Built to Order product to local home buyers."
KB Home is a Los Angeles-based company and is currently building its homes in six D.C. communities.
People in the news
Nancy Michael has joined the International Housewares Association (IHA) as senior manager, business development, the association announced.
"We are pleased to have Nancy join us in a full-time capacity," said Mia Rampersad, IHA VP trade show. "She brings a unique perspective to IHA, having previously worked for 10 years at TAG, one of our longtime members and show exhibitors, and then for the Merchandise Mart managing the Chicago Gift Show."
After leaving the Merchandise Mart last year, Michael worked part time with IHA’s sales staff, marketing the Discover Design category before and during the 2013 International Home + Housewares Show.
Gary Maulin has been named Western States Territory Manager at Starborn Industries, a manufacturer and international distributor of fastening products.
He is responsible for expanding sales relationships throughout the western United States and training customers and employees on the benefits and usage of the company’s fasteners.
Maulin joins Starborn Industries with nearly 30 years of experience in the building materials industry. For more than 15 years, he served as product manager with McFarland Cascade, supporting new product development.
Sandra C. Whitehouse has been appointed senior VP and chief human resources officer of Toano, Va.-based Lumber Liquidators, the nation’s largest specialty retailer of hardwood flooring.
Whitehouse, who is expected to begin her new role later this month, will oversee the development and operation of the company’s human resources functions, and will report directly to CEO Robert Lynch.
Whitehouse most recently served as chief human resources officer for Earthbound Farm, where she functioned as a strategic business partner to the CEO and senior leadership team. Previously, she led the human resources department at Orchard Supply Hardware, and has also held various human resources and store operations roles at Sears Holdings over a 24-year period.