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Report: Building Materials Shortage Emerges as Pandemic Challenge for Contractors

New data from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index for Q4 2020 has found that 41% of contractors say that less availability of building products and materials is a severe consequence of the ongoing COVID pandemic, up from just 15% saying the same in Q3.

Of those surveyed in the index, 71% said they face at least one material shortage, up 17 points from 54% in Q3. The most reported material shortage is wood/lumber, which has seen higher demand from a boom in residential construction during the pandemic. Of those contractors experiencing shortages, 89% say it is having a moderate to high level of impact on their business, up from 75% saying so last quarter.

“The pandemic has exacerbated issues contractors were already facing in availability and cost of materials from tariffs and a shortage of skilled workers,” said Neil Bradley, executive vice president and chief policy officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “But there’s reason for optimism. More than one in three contractors plan to hire more workers in the next six months, and most see sufficient new business in the coming year.”

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Read Full U.S. Chamber of Commerce IndexConnect With U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Bradley

About David Cohen

David Cohen is Southeast Editorial Director at Connect Commercial Real Estate. David is a media veteran with more than 10 years of experience in journalism, copywriting and communications across a variety of roles. He is responsible for covering commercial real estate news and trends in the Southeast, Florida, Washington D.C. and Boston at Connect CRE as well as specializing in the Student Housing sector. Prior to joining Connect, David was the editor of Northeast Real Estate Business magazine and Student Housing Business magazine at France Media as well as spending time freelancing for ESPN and the Associated Press in the fast-paced field of live sports event production. He is also an owner and investor in multifamily real estate in Atlanta, GA. David currently resides in Atlanta and graduated from the College of Communication & Information at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.

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