Supply chain and staffing challenges pressure home builders as NC demand increases

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Residential building permit data indicates a surge in demand for new homes in North Carolina, but builders say there are problems in staying on track.

“Timeframes are probably the longest they’ve ever been. At the same time. We need houses built faster than we ever have,” Raleigh broadcaster ABC-11 quoted David Price, the owner of David Price Construction, as saying.

Price, president of the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County, says supply chain issues and staffing shortages across the entire process are continual challenges.

“Part of the issue we’re faced with right now is everybody’s busy, right?” Price said report broadcast on June 3. “A lot of people are understaffed and that goes all the way from permit departments and just about every municipality to engineers to architects to surveyors.”

As an example, Wake County’s planning department is requesting four additional staff members this year to assist with service delivery. Other municipalities such as Fayetteville are experiencing similar issues in finding and retaining staff

“It’s difficult to find somebody to replace them because then when they come in, you got to do the training. They’ve got to get certified through the state. So, it’s a process here, and if the labor force isn’t there for us to pick from, it becomes quite challenging,” said Fayetteville’s chief building official Jason Everage.

Fayetteville has already processed 5.4% more residential and commercial permits this year than in 2021.

“It’s building like crazy,” he said. “And we’re trying to keep up, but as far as from fiscal year 21′ to this year 22′. I mean, we’re up 15, 20%.”

Single-family home permits are up 22% with 368 permits submitted over the last 11 months in Fayetteville. Permits for multifamily units have also increased by nearly 500 more units, according on data provided by Fayetteville.

Price said incentivizing hiring for permitting officials may help ease part of the problem, but shortages persist across every step.

“We do need to figure out a way to get homes built quicker,” he said. “We are faced with a crunch and housing. If we’re going to continue to open up jobs to companies moving here and things like that, we’re going to need to be able to supply to workers with housing.”

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