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Construction supply shortage creating new challenge for homebuilders

Supplies like lumber have been pretty scarce because of the pandemic
Construction supply shortage creating new challenge for homebuilders
Posted at 5:22 PM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 19:22:42-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — It’s no secret homes are hard to come by in Colorado Springs, and sometimes it seems like new ones just can’t be built fast enough. And homebuilders say, because of the pandemic, there’s actually a little bit of truth to that.

Demand for new homes in Colorado Springs is red hot. Just ask the area’s biggest home builder.

“We’re estimating we’ll do about 750 houses this year,” Classic Homes President Joe Loidolt said.

He says buyers don’t have many options.

“The resale market’s just really tight right now, and that pushes buyers to new homes,” LOidolt said.

--New homes that normally pop up pretty quick.

“Probably between 150 and 170 days,” he said.

But for almost the past year, shortages in building supplies have made it hard to meet the demand.

“Most cases we’ve been able to get the finish line, but it can be a scramble,” he said. “Lumber has probably been the worst.”

Most of it can be blamed on plant closures due to covid outbreaks. and because of that small supply, home builders are in a crunch.

“Our lumber prices have more than doubled,“ Loidolt said. “We have a lot of houses that are under contract. We assumed we would be able to build them with the costs we had back then.”

On the opposite end, home buyers who locked in their price before costs went up can already have some decent equity built up, before even moving in.

“It seems like we’re always chasing the cost issue,” Loidolt said.

The shortages aren’t unique to just lumber.

“Something as simple as the door locks we use,” he said. “For a while we couldn’t get the door locks.”

But in a market as hot as this one, it just takes a little extra creativity to get to the finish line.

“You know, you adapt,” he said. “You go figure out a different door lock to put on in the interim until your regular door locks come in.”