A shortage of building materials is becoming a pressing problem for many of the nation’s homebuilders. Twenty-one percent of single-family builders reported a shortage of framing lumber, according to the 2017 National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. Builders also reported a shortage in ready-mix concrete and trusses.
The NAHB notes that the last time there was a shortage of framing lumber was in October 2004, when the annual rate of housing starts was around 2 million. Currently, housing starts are at about 1.1 million.
Further, the rising share of builders reporting shortages in framing lumber is coinciding with recent increases in prices for softwood lumber. The shortages likely stem from an ongoing softwood lumber trade dispute between the U.S. and Canada, the NAHB says.