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A Near Record Number of Housing Units Are Under Construction, but They’re Taking Longer to Complete

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A Near Record Number of Housing Units Are Under Construction, but They’re Taking Longer to Complete

Single-family housing starts are rising, but supply-chain delays are pushing back completions

March 21, 2023
House under construction in winter
Image: Андрей Киселев / stock.adobe.com

Single-family housing starts rose 1.1% in February to a rate of 830,000, and while a near record number of housing units were under construction in 2022, they took far longer to complete than they did a year prior, Bill McBride reports in the CalculatedRisk Newsletter. 

As a result of lingering supply-chain constraints post-pandemic, it took an average of 8.3 months from start to completion for single-family homes in 2022, up from an already elevated time frame of 7.2 months in 2021.

Currently there are 734 thousand single family units (red) under construction (SA). This was down in February compared to January, and 81 thousand below the recent peak in April and May 2022. Single family units under construction have peaked since single family starts are now declining.

The delays following the housing bubble were due to many projects being mothballed for several years. The recent delays were due to pandemic related supply constraints.

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