Building material prices was the top concern among US homebuilders in 2022, cited by 96% of respondents; high interest rates expected to be a top concern for 2023, cited by 93%, up from 66% in 2022: NAHB

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WASHINGTON , February 21, 2023 (press release) –

The price and availability of building materials again topped the list of problems builders faced last year, but interest rates, general inflation and negative media moved considerably up the list.

According to responses on the This Link Will Open A PDF DocumentJanuary 2023 survey for the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), building material prices were the most significant issue for builders in 2022 (cited by 96% of builders), followed by availability and timing to obtain building materials (cited by 86% of builders). Both problems topped the list in 2021 as well.

Cost and availability of labor has also been a relatively widespread problem, reported as a significant issue by 82% of builders in 2021 and 85% in 2022 — which is not surprising, given the large number of unfilled New Windowjob openings in the construction industry. 

However, some problems became significantly more widespread in 2022. New WindowHigh interest rates were a problem for only 2% of builders in 2021 but affected 66% of builders in 2022. New WindowRising inflation in the U.S. economy was a significant problem for 85% of builders in 2022, compared to 63% in 2021. And negative media reports making buyers cautious also affected 55% of builders in 2022, compared to 26% in 2021.

More builders (93%) expect high interest rates to be a problem in 2023, up strongly from the 66% who said it was a problem in 2022. Moreover, both the current and expected numbers were much higher in the recent survey than at any time between 2011 and 2021.

NAHB senior economist Ashok Chaluvadi provides more insights in New Windowthis Eye on Housing post.

Industry Intelligence Editor's Note: This press release omits select charts and/or marketing language for editorial clarity. Click here to view the full report.

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Dan Rivard
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