The coronavirus may be disrupting American life in a way the country has not seen in recent memory, but the latest NAHB survey highlights builders' resiliency in the face of adversity. A majority of businesses are allowing employees to work from home when possible, according to the survey. Another popular response to the growing challenges surrounding the coronavirus is to conduct private showings, with 59 percent of builders planning to use or are already employing this strategy. And though the situation may change as the national economic slowdown deepens, only 15 percent of builders have already laid off or furloughed employees, ranking near the bottom of current strategies.
In a recent NAHB survey, the vast majority of builders said they were allowing non-construction employees to work from home, but they were also implementing several measures to allow them to continue selling homes during the coronavirus pandemic. The most common of these is private showings of model homes, but online and drive-through closings are also being offered.
This information was collected through a question added to the survey for the April 2020 NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The question listed eight possible measures and asked the single-family builders in the HMI panel if they were currently doing each, or planned to do it in the near future, in response to the coronavirus. At the top of the list, 84 percent of builders were allowing non-construction employees to work from home or planning to do so in the near future. According to a study published by NAHB last year, the average single-family builder has between 5 and 6 non-construction employees.