The biggest challenge for home builders right now

Did you know? The Consumer Price Index rise for April from a year earlier was the sharpest since September 2008. Needless to say, this is being felt by all Americans from the grocery store to the gas pump. The Consumer Price Index, which measures a basket of goods as well as energy and housing costs, rose 4.2% from a year earlier. Energy prices overall jumped 25% from a year earlier, including a 49.6% increase for gasoline and 37.3% for fuel oil.

As for home builders, lumber prices alone have spiked by 124% this year amid persistent demand. Copper has also seen a jump in price of 36% in 2021. Although lumber shortages claim most headlines and for good reason, the items most reported to have shortages by home builders are actually appliances. The main reason for these shortages for appliances is due to the tight supply of computer chips, which most appliances require nowadays.

The great appliance shortage

In a report from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), 19 out of 20 builders face an appliance shortage. In fact, 57% of home builders are referring to this as a “serious shortage”. So just what were the top shortages reported by home builders?

  1. Appliances: 95% (38% serious shortages)
  2. Framing lumber: 94% (47% serious shortages)
  3. Oriented strand board (OSB): 92% (54% serious shortages)
  4. Plywood: 90% (48% serious shortages)
  5. Windows and doors: 87% (38% serious shortages)
  6. Trusses: 78% (27% serious shortages)
  7. Copper wiring: 77% (23% serious shortages)
  8. Plumbing fixtures and fittings: 75% (19% serious shortages)
  9. Vinyl siding: 74% (23% serious shortages)
  10. Millwork: 72% (13% serious shortages)
  11. Gypsum wallboard (13% serious shortages)
  12. Steel (lightweight for framing): 70% (12% serious shortages)
  13. HVAC equipment: 68% (13% serious shortages)
  14. Hardwood flooring: 67% (12% serious shortages)
  15. Roofing materials: 66% (13% serious shortages)
  16. Cabinets: 63% (10% serious shortages)
  17. Structural insulated panels: 62% (14% serious shortages)
  18. Insulation material: 62% (14% serious shortages)
  19. Steel beams: 57% (9% serious shortages)
  20. Clay brick: 51% (12% serious shortages)


The increase in new home building combined with the number of renovations taking place has caused increased pressure on the supply chain for many items, particularly lumber. Furthermore, the supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic are also having lasting effects. However, it is the severe shortage of appliances that is currently causing the most concern for home builders. Due to the fact that most appliances produced today require computer chips, there has been a considerable supply chain disruption. With this said, if you are planning a home project that will require upgrading appliances, it is wise to prepare early in anticipation of any product delays.

Are you thinking of buying or selling real estate in South Florida? We can help. Whether you are specifically looking for new construction or an existing home, we have you covered. Contact Live South Florida Realty, Inc. today!


REALTOR® with Live South Florida Realty, Inc.