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As new home sales continue to rise, where are the appliances?

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A lack of durable goods has slowed home building, but buyers have started to adapt. Getty Images

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The monthly durable goods orders report is scheduled to come today. That means large products that are made to last at least three years, like appliances. We recently learned that new home sales went up 14% in September from August. And new homes need new stuff that’s been hard to come by lately.

The top complaint from homebuilders isn’t about the availability of lumber or paint. It’s about appliances, according to Robert Dietz, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders.

“In fact, 95% of builders right now report delays in terms of appliances,” he said.

Many homes sold in September haven’t been built yet. Deitz said. It’s not too early for those buyers to start thinking about furnishings, though.

“Builders are recommending that buyers make design decisions early, because that process is being stretched out. And it’s more expensive,” he said.

The situation isn’t new, and Rick Palacios Jr. of John Burns Real Estate Consulting said homebuilders are starting to adapt.

“A big part of it is just realizing things are going to take weeks and weeks longer than we anticipated,” he said.

He’s heard from homebuilders that they’re stocking up earlier, buying alternative brands, and using more local warehouses to have the appliances close by when needed.

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