Housing Construction Has Biggest Drop Since Pandemic Hit

CNBC

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Single-family housing starts dropped more than 13% in April compared with March, according to the U.S. Census.
Prices for new and existing homes are at record levels, and the increases are accelerating at the fastest clip in over 15 years.
Roughly 15% of builders said they are putting down concrete foundations and then holding off on framing the house.

Despite a historic shortage of homes for sale, homebuilders are actually slowing production, handcuffed by skyrocketing commodity prices and shortages of land and skilled labor.

Single-family housing starts dropped more than 13% in April compared with March, the U.S. Census reported Tuesday. That’s the sharpest decrease since last April, when the pandemic shut down the economy.

“I have to blame the difficulty in procuring lumber and other products, along with labor issues for the miss, in addition to likely cancellations due to skyrocketing costs for single family starts,” said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group.

Prices new and existing homes are at record levels, and the increases are accelerating at the fastest clip in over 15 years. Nearly half of all builders say they are adding escalation clauses to their sale prices because of rising material costs, according to a recent survey from the National Association of Home Builders.