QUEEN CREEK, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - If you're in the market to build a new home, get ready to wait, and then wait some more. Arizona's hot housing construction market is being forced into an unwanted slowdown, and there's not much anyone can do about it.
Chris Fisher is building a house for his family in Queen Creek. Homes usually take 6 to 9 months to finish, but Fisher was told his would take 10 to 14 months. And now, he's hearing it could get pushed back up to more six more months. "I'd love to get in and get started in our new home, but they can only do what they can do," said Fisher. "Just be patient and let it come."
Fulton Homes sent a letter to all its sales associates recently, stating that the COVID-19 pandemic, the freeze in Texas, and the ship stuck in the Suez canal have all dramatically impacted the home building industry, creating a major supply chain shortage.
Things like plywood, windows, cabinets, plumbing fixtures, appliances, and windows, are all taking much longer to arrive. Some items aren't even available.
Avi Azoulay is the owner of Regal American Homes. He said it's gotten to the point where he is having to order things he doesn't need yet, just so he will have them in stock 9 months from now. "What's happening is we take a product that is typically on the shelf and store it," said Azoulay. "We are creating a product shortage to homeowners that typically, they used to go to the store to buy them, but now, they don't exist any more."
The cost of lumber is also an issue. According to Azoulay, the price of lumber will jump 20 to 40% from one week to the next.
And there's also a labor shortage.
Home builders expect the problems to continue through the end of the year. "They're doing the best they can, but they can't keep up," said Fisher. "It's nobody's fault. It is what it is."
Fulton Homes is offering customers a brief window from April 10 through April 17 to cancel their contract and receive a full refund on their deposit, if they don't want to wait for their home to be built.
Many homeowners are choosing to wait it out, since the home they are building has likely gone up in value $20,000 to $50,000 since they signed their original contract.