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Why Las Vegas Builders Can't Keep Up With Housing Demand

Monday, August 2, 2021   /   by Ken Couture

Why Las Vegas Builders Can't Keep Up With Housing Demand

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When lumber prices soared to nearly $ 1,700 per thousand board feet this spring, it sent shock waves through the residential construction industry.

“The lumber line item is the largest number in the brick and mortar of the house budget, and to have that go up over 300% in a 12-month period was unheard of and very concerning,” said Nat Hodgson, CEO of Southern Nevada Home Builders Association and executive director of HomeAid of Southern Nevada. “With the volatility and unpredictability of pricing, builders had a set price per lot they anticipated years ago when they decided to move forward with that product, and by the time they ordered the lumber, it was anywhere from $15,000 to $90,000 more than they had in the house budget.”

It has since fallen back to pre-pandemic levels, but its impact is nonetheless shocking, and the direct effects could be felt in the Southern Nevada housing market for some time.

Hodgson spoke with Vegas Inc about the impact of the pandemic on housing, housing trends in the valley, and water supply, among other topics.

Our industry and our association are constantly evolving. We are working harder than ever to educate policymakers at all levels about their impact on home prices. As we face record increases in lumber, raw materials, and labor costs, any increase in additional fees, new regulations, or processing delays. The management of the city only makes the supply and demand factors more difficult. Many, if not all, entities, utilities, and departments have moved to online processing, which has increased our cycle times. In some cases, what used to take hours at the counter is now taking one to two weeks.

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