The Impact of the Supply Chain Crisis on Homebuilders and Homebuyers

July 06, 2022

Building the home of your dreams is a wonderful adventure, like no other. Once you find the right home in the right neighborhood, near all your favorite places—you can’t wait to begin the next chapter of your life story. Then, along comes an antagonist, like the current supply chain crisis, and you find yourself in a battle to retain your joy while you wait for your home to be completed. In today’s blog, we’ll share how the supply chain crisis has impacted the process of building a home, its origins, and how you can navigate the frustrations it tries to send your way, like the superhero of your story that you are.

The Supply Chain Crisis vs. The Building Industry

The supply chain crisis has created worldwide delays across all industries and impacted the price and availability of many consumer goods. These goods range from major purchases such as appliances and cars, to small goods such as shoes and baby formula. Although consumer goods may be the most visible casualties of the crisis, homebuilders and those throughout the construction industry are also feeling the stress caused by supply shortages. This has led to significant delays in receiving the supplies required to build a home, such as concrete, steel, lumber, appliances, windows and garage doors.

Builder magazine recently reported that during the crisis, “lead times for order fulfillment have gone from 6 weeks to 16 weeks for some products.” To overcome the challenge of product delays, many homebuilders are going the extra mile by pre-ordering items, in order to close homes on-time for clients.

Increased Demand for Homes. Increased Schedule Delays.

In discussing the impact of the crisis, Jerry Konter, the Chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said, "The market needs more housing, but chronic production bottlenecks, including ongoing price increases for lumber and OSB [subflooring boards], continue to raise housing costs and harm housing affordability. The number of single-family homes under construction continues to rise as construction cycle times increase due to delivery delays with building materials." The good news is more new homes are being built, but the bad news is they are all taking much longer to be completed.

The Origin of the Supply Chain Crisis.

Rumors of an impending crisis began circulating at the beginning of the pandemic, with pundits predicting that mandatory manufacturing plant closures, ongoing employee shortages, and the rising cost of fuel were a triple threat that everyone should take very seriously. Now, two-and-a-half years later, evidence of the far-reaching consequences of the crisis are everywhere. However, many leaders in the building industry are hopeful that home completion schedules will improve by the end of 2022, and continue to return to pre-COVID timing throughout 2023.

How WPG Is Navigating the Supply Chain Crisis

Throughout the supply chain crisis, WPG has remained unwavering in its commitment to deliver finely crafted homes, built with the highest quality materials. We are also equally committed to providing our valued homebuyers with unparalleled service. Our goal is to keep customers informed, as we find out about delays that may impact move-in schedules.

5 Steps for Navigating the Supply Chain Crisis as a Homebuyer

Although schedule delays created by the supply chain crisis can be frustrating, below are some things you can do while you wait to maintain the thrill of anticipation.

  1. Talk to Your WPG Sales Counselor – As your trusted guide throughout the home buying process, your WPG Sales Counselor is the first person you should contact if you are concerned about a delay. Not only can your sales counselor help you set realistic expectations, they can also find out information for you regarding delays and timelines.

  2. Take Comfort in Knowing You Aren’t Alone – No one likes to wait, but now that you know delays are common for everyone who is in the process of building a home, it makes the event a shared experience. Perhaps one day you will tell your children funny stories of your survival.

  3. Practice Gratitude – Sometimes a change in perspective is all we need to overcome a setback and gratitude is the ultimate elixir for disappointment. For example, your marble countertops may be delayed for a few weeks, but be glad you got the color you wanted and that ultimately your kitchen is going to be stunning. Check out some tips for practicing gratitude here.

  4. Plan for the Worst —One of the best ways to manage expectations and make waiting easier is to prepare for the worst case scenario. For example, if you have scheduled movers to come to your old house, but you aren’t sure your new home will be ready by that date, alert your moving service and see what options they offer, such as storage and later delivery, 48-hour no-charge schedule changes, etc.

  5. Extend Grace — Everyone in the homebuilding industry has been impacted by the pandemic and subsequent supply chain crisis. More importantly, we all are powerless to make supplies come in any faster, so know that we share your frustration and are doing everything we can to keep your home on schedule. After all, the reason we do what we do is to bring happiness to your family and you—and together we can get through this. 

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