MARKET INTELLIGENCE: AUGUST 2020

August 26, 2020

Despite the extraordinary challenges America is facing as we combat COVID-19, homebuilders continue to sell their inventory and break new ground at an accelerated rate. Such trends align with what we’ve been experiencing here at Builders FirstSource and are supported by the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, which has shown a remarkable rebound, illustrating a V-shaped response over the past two months:


Housing Market Index Chart Image


These are difficult times to navigate, no question, but the reality is our industry remains a bright spot during a very uncertain time. Builder confidence is reported to be at an all-time high, and the construction industry has regained 60 percent of its jobs, with a hiring surge that added 224,200 jobs in May and 83,200 jobs in June. Builders that stayed aggressive and didn’t slow down building during the early weeks of COVID-19 have fared extremely well. Others that were more conservative have sold much of their inventory and are working harder than ever take advantage of the high demand they are experiencing.

The biggest challenge our industry faces is preventing demand for building materials from greatly outpacing supply. Alas, retaining market equilibrium isn’t expected to happen anytime soon, as the resilience of the global supply chain that supports American homebuilding continues to be tested in an unprecedented fashion. Builders who want to continue to keep up with high demand in a COVID-19 world need to get out in front of these potential supply chain issues through careful planning, strengthened relationships and partnering closely with Builders FirstSource to help ensure you have the materials you need, when you need them.

Below are a few areas where suppliers have expressed the biggest concerns as of today:

Typically shipped on-time  
Potential for not getting product on-time  
Significant potential for not getting product on-time  

Product What’s Happening in the Supply Chain Status
Siding Some manufacturers are experiencing heavy demand, resulting in increased lead times.  
EWP & Building Connectors For the most part, product is shipping on-time. We have seen EWP lead times starting to extend but nothing significant at this time  
Drywall No known issues currently  
Decking Heavy DIY demand for decking is impacting all decking materials.  
Interior Doors The impact of COVID and increased demand is extending lead times and availability, especially for smooth flat panel  
Locksets COVID impacted manufacturing, which significantly reduced production capacity. Manufacturers are working to get caught-up  
Windows Continued production challenges because of COVID along with heavy demand in Vinyl windows are expected to continue  
Moulding Supply chain was constrained in April and May. Additional duties on China will put even more pressure on both supply and pricing. Lead times are extended  
OSB & Sheet Goods Concern is on availability and price. Mills are having a difficult time recovering labor and distributing product; some are even shutting down.  
Lumber Like OSB & Sheet Goods, prices continue to rise at unprecedented rates and availability is a concern depending on timeframe.  
Roofing Lead times are extended along with cost escalation  

The fact of the matter is that conducting business in today’s economic environment, even one that is booming like ours, is more difficult than it was just six months ago. And while no pro dealer is immune to experiencing supply issues, as one of the nation’s leading providers of diversified homebuilding products, Builders FirstSource’s leverage and scale gives us a leg up in returning to full capacity and meeting our OTIF (On-Time and In-Full) promises.

Strong global partnerships, and the high degree of visibility such partnerships afford Builders FirstSource, allow us to assess supply chain opportunities and challenges as far in advance as possible and make informed, strategic decisions. We know the decisions our Sourcing and Supply Chain Team makes today have major implications for the professional builder and remodeler customers tomorrow. That is why we remain engaged with our suppliers daily. Our team of experts have even put together three tips to help you navigate the supply chain during COVID-19.

Stay Informed

By submitting this form, you have read and agreed to our Terms of Use.