The second week of NAHB’s online survey showed that several effects of the coronavirus on the residential construction industry have become more widespread and severe. Once again, traffic ranked as the most widespread problem, with 93% of respondents saying the coronavirus has had an adverse impact on traffic of prospective buyers.
This result is based on 318 responses collected online between March 24 and March 30. As in week 1, the largest share of responses came from single-family home builders; and respondents were most often owner, president or CEO of their companies. The geographic distribution was somewhat different in week 2, however, with a greater share of responses coming from the Northeast and West Census regions.
The week 2 survey listed eight areas where the coronavirus could be taking its toll on businesses, and asked each respondent if these have so far had a major, minor or no adverse effect on their business. After traffic, survey participants cited the following top concerns listed in this chart below:
Five of these problems were also covered in week 1 of the survey. Four clearly worsened in week 2. For example, 80% of respondents said the virus has had an adverse impact on how long it takes to obtain a plan review for a single-family home — up from 57% a week earlier. Comparisons across weeks should be interpreted cautiously, primarily because of differences in the geographic distribution of responses. In this case, however, the percentage increased significantly in each of the four Census regions.
NAHB Senior Economist Paul Emrath provides further analysis of the survey, including geographical breakdowns, in this Eye on Housing blog post.