There has been an 80% increase in lumber prices since the Coronavirus hit our country in March. That is an $8,000 cost increase for a 2,000 sq ft home.
Modular home factories are especially sensitive to lumber and other building material pricing since they tend to quote houses and commercial work out sometimes as long as 6 months.
Many factories have been sending out almost weekly surcharges to builders and developers with recent ones being higher than ever before.
You would think rising costs would keep new home buyers from building but with interest rates at all-time lows and the exodus of new home buyers leaving cities, the demand for new housing is increasing.
With a skilled labor shortage, the safety and health precautions instituted for the pandemic and the shortage of building materials from China, many modular factories are being forced to rethink how their production line should operate.
Do they put a hold on a module for the line until everything for it has arrived or do they simply slow down the line or maybe they should send every module through the line and complete them in the yard when product arrives.
No easy answer to that when you consider the hard costs associated with running a modular production line.
Even with all these problems, sales continue to grow for factories with many scheduling their production out 6 months. That may seem like an exorbitant amount of lead time but honestly, site builders are in the same boat with many of them not able to even quote houses for next year.
No matter what happens in the construction industry, I would rather be a modular builder than either a site or panel builder. Not having to search for electricians, plumbers, drywallers and finish carpenters makes going modular an easy choice.