By Roy Nash, President and CEO
This past year will certainly go down in history as a most unusual one with the pandemic and all. And for the housing industry, the answer is very clear – where we live has never been more important! People have certainly spent more time at home then ever before. Their home has become their “safe” place.
New home construction, including single family and multi-family, has really been on the increase, as families looked to improve their living conditions. Consequently, the timing of our construction programs has never been more important, as we work to give our customers excellent choices for their future. Our biggest challenge has been affordability. The costs for housing construction have never increased by the percentage rates we have seen this past year. And many materials, such as windows and doors, are now taking four to eight weeks or longer to obtain. So, planning for procurement has to take place like never before.
The results for all of this in the central Texas area, is that new housing has been impossible to find below a $180,000 price tag, and quality existing homes are hard to find below $150,000. This has become an affordability issue for many of our lower and moderate-income clients. Without some kinds of subsidies, many of our customers will not be able to find a quality affordable home to purchase. Interest rates are certainly cooperating with the purchase, but the monthly housing cost under the current scenarios will keep families from moving into homeownership, at least for the short term.
We will continue to seek the best housing opportunities for our clients, whatever that may be. And we will continue to seek additional subsidies, so that all families can find quality housing for their future. We will continue to work on these affordability issues every day!