COVID-19 impacting traffic for builders

April 13, 2020

By: The Working Forest Staff

NAHB — In the third week of NAHB’s online poll, the coronavirus’s impact on traffic of prospective buyers has become almost ubiquitous.  A full 96 percent of respondents said the virus was having at least some adverse effect on traffic, and 72 percent characterized it as a major adverse effect.

This result is based on 256 responses collected online between March 31 and April 6.  As in the first two weeks of the poll, the largest share of responses in week 3 came from single-family home builders; and most were owner, president or CEO of their companies.  The geographic distribution of the responses continues to be somewhat variable, with the share from the Northeast increasing regularly, from 6 percent of all responses in week 1 of the poll to 15 percent in week 3.

The week 3 poll listed nine possible impacts of the coronavirus and asked if each has so far had a major, minor, or no adverse effect on respondents’ businesses.  Many of the adverse impacts have become extremely widespread.  In addition to traffic, over 80 percent of respondents for whom the items were applicable said the virus was having a noticeable, adverse impact on six aspects of their businesses:  cancellations or delays of existing remodelling projects (87 percent), homeowners’ concerns about interacting with remodeling crews (86 percent), how long it takes to obtain a plan review for a typical single-family home (also 86 percent), rate at which inquiries for remodeling work are coming in (85 percent), and how long it takes the local building department to respond to a request for an inspection (82 percent).

Less widespread but still cited as virus-induced problems by over 70 percent of respondents were willingness of workers and subs to report to a construction site and supply of building products and materials.  A new item added to the list in week 3, ability to obtain new business loans or deal with banks on existing loans, turned out to be the least common problem in the poll, but even that was cited by over half of respondents.

There has been a general tendency for the incidence of the various virus-induced problems to increase over time during the first three weeks of the online poll.  It is necessary to interpret this trend with caution, however, due to the rising share of responses coming from the Northeast, where problems have tended to be particularly widespread and severe.   Nevertheless, it is evident that the willingness of workers to report to construction sites has become a growing concern, cited as a virus-induced problem by a consistently rising share of respondents in each of the four regions.

For additional details—including tables for each question broken down by respondents’ region, primary business, and position in the company—please see the full survey report.

See More HERE.

 

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