Decreased lumber prices cause home building delays due to high demand in Amarillo

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 9:22 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2021 at 9:29 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Decreasing lumber prices have spiked an interest in more people wanting to build homes in Amarillo.

Now it’s causing a delay in home building.

Even with the lower lumber prices, Amarillo home builders are struggling to build at a normal rate because it’s still hard to get enough supply to meet the high demand.

“I think what we’re seeing this time last year versus this time is the interest of people looking at taking advantage of interest rates and now we’re working through, especially in the custom market, those customers who really have the interest, but now are actually physically working on the homes and working through that progress. Still busy, very busy, but in a different form,” said Raymond Roberts, owner of Wyben Homes and 2020 president of Texas Panhandle Builders Association.

Contractors are seeing custom sale spikes as people are taking advantage of low interest rates along with the lower lumber prices.

However, in Amarillo, it’s taking a couple months longer to build custom homes because home builders are waiting on building products to come in.

Roberts says lumber is not the only supply hard to get.

For example, windows and brick orders are taking longer to come in.

“We have a lot of surplus that the lumber yards need to work through from previous purchases. It’s not just lumber, it’s really a lot of our supplies. Very very long lead times. 12 weeks on windows, still six months for brick. Appliances still have a very very extensive lead time,” said Roberts.

Roberts says with the custom market, they expect to see a small decline in sales.

For the speculative market, they think that will stay steady for a while because of the limited homes available in the Amarillo housing market.

Typically in Amarillo, there are 1,500 homes on the market at a time, but right now there are under 300.

“We’re definitely looking for the future of hopefully getting our supplies back, getting those costs more in line or some normalcy to our costs instead of the exponential cost increases that we’ve had,” said Roberts.

National industry experts say prices, while down, won’t return to pre-COVID-19 levels for some time.

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