What happens when a home builder can’t find a microwave?

Caroline Champlin Jul 26, 2021
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Limited supplies of basic home appliances, like microwaves, are delaying the completion of some new-build properties. Stephen Brashear via Getty Images

What happens when a home builder can’t find a microwave?

Caroline Champlin Jul 26, 2021
Heard on:
Limited supplies of basic home appliances, like microwaves, are delaying the completion of some new-build properties. Stephen Brashear via Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Newly-built homes typically come with fresh appliances.

Census statistics on new home sales will be coming out Monday and will be followed Tuesday by data on durable goods orders, like dishwashers and refrigerators.

With housing demand so high and supply chain issues limiting appliance availability, what can we expect from the future of this relationship between homes and goods?

The housing market has been red hot. But now, in some areas, according to National Association of Home Builders chief economist Robert Dietz, it’s just hot.

One reason? New home construction is being constrained by those pesky, pricey appliances.

“Until those components are installed or included in the home, construction is not complete,” he said.

Dietz says he has heard stories from homebuilders waiting for a microwave to finish a house, but the appliance is sitting on a container ship in the port of L.A.

Those delays are affecting housing supply and driving up home prices.  

But not for every would-be home buyer, said Gus Faucher from PNC Financial Services Group.

“I think some people are maybe waiting for a little bit of the steam to come off of the housing market, maybe see if prices settle down a little bit,” he said.

Those people waiting for that to happen may be rewarded, he added, if the supply issues for appliances can get worked out later in the year. 

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