Builders rank material price and availability as the biggest problems they faced in 2021—and expect to remain in 2022.
As the housing industry strives to meet demand, a shortage of labor is a perpetual problem. Recruiting, training, and hiring more women could help; they represent a minority of the workforce in many housing-related sectors, including building supply dealers and specialty trade contractors.
The warmer climate of the South has long made heat pumps a more practical option in new homes compared to forced-air furnaces. In regions with harsher winters, the majority of new home builders tend to stick with furnaces, although heat pumps have been making some incremental gains in the West and Northeast in recent years.
For builders who are constructing net zero or zero-ready homes, electric heat pumps are frequently a better way to achieve energy efficiency and healthy air goals than a gas-fired, forced-air furnace.
Buyers continue to value home technology that makes them feel safer and more comfortable in their homes, according to NAHB's 2021 "What Home Buyers Really Want" survey.
Top on the list is programmable thermostats, with a total of 77% of home buyers rating this feature as "essential" or "desirable."
Other popular features included security cameras, video doorbells, wireless home security systems, and multi-zone HVAC systems.
The U.S. housing market continues to be one of the shining stars of the post-COVID-19 economy.
New data from the U.S. Census Bureau for December 2020 shows the housing market hit a 14-year high last month, with 1.669 million housing units started on a seasonally adjusted annual rate.
This map presents the break down of housing starts by region. The South dominates the homebuilding market, accounting for more than half of all starts as of December 2020, followed by the West.