Home Building Sees Challenges, Opportunities in 2022

Dec. 14, 2021

On the heels of a tumultuous 2020, the past year in single-family home building was a lesson in contrasts: record-setting new-home sales and prices balanced by supply chain delays, skilled labor shortages, and materials price increases that hindered production.

Binsacca is editorial director for Pro Builder Media

For the most part, builders weathered it well, despite angst and adjustments, delivering about 1.24 million new homes in 2021.

And they expect to continue that trend into 2022, according to Pro Builder’s annual reader forecast survey. Representing a wide swath of builders nationwide, the results paint a picture of optimism and opportunity tinged with ongoing challenges.

Among the opportunities, the pleasant surprise is that about one-fifth of builders see some sort of industrialized construction in their near-term future, followed closely by new product technologies. Those opportunities likely reflect the top three challenges cited.

“We expect innovation in the industry will continue in 2022 due to higher development costs,” says Robert Dietz, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, which forecasts a leveling off of single-family production thanks to ongoing headwinds.

Read the complete industry report in 2022 Annual Report & Forecast.

Still, nearly 80 percent of builders expect to sell more homes next year; 37.2 percent expect to sell 21 or more homes versus 2021. With that, more than half of builders expect their revenues to climb at least 7 percent over this year.

Pandemic-driven factors also will continue to impact the industry, at least in some markets. “Work from home, at least part time, is a massive stimulus to many areas where home buyers and renters can get far more house for their money,” says John Burns, CEO of John Burns Real Estate Consulting. “The future is very different by market and submarket.”