Home Builders Say Appliances in Seriously Short Supply

By Alan Wolf, YSN

Home builders are facing the most widespread shortages since the 1990s, a new report shows, with appliances topping the list of hard-to-find products and materials.

According to a May survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), more than 90 percent reported scarcities of construction materials like framing lumber, plumbing fixtures and plywood.

But for the majority of builders, home appliances are the most difficult resource to come by. Fully 95 percent of respondents said white goods are in short supply and of those, 57 percent described the shortage as serious.

In contrast, fewer than 40 percent reported any building material shortages one year ago in HMI’s June 2020 report, although appliances were not included in that poll. Builders have not historically complained about appliance shortages often, the NAHB said, but the trade group added the category to last month’s survey after fielding what it described as “a volley of anecdotal complaints” earlier this year.

The chart-topping 95 percent of respondents who cited appliances last month represents the single-highest shortage percentage recorded on any item since the NAHB began systematically collecting data in the 1990s, the association said.