For more than a year, the pandemic and national events have brought a level of uncertainty most of us have never experienced. Our collective struggles have brought to light just how interconnected we are, from public health concerns that affect our daily lives to the challenges of global supply chains that affect how we receive goods. When major events happen across the globe, we feel the effects in several ways. We rise and fall together. Whether you’re looking to purchase a home or make improvements to the home you have, no doubt you’ve experienced firsthand our ever-changing market conditions. Let’s take some time to discuss how we’ve arrived at this point and what we at Renaissance Homes are doing to make homebuilding better and more predictable for our clients.
As a community, we have turned inward to focus on our families and homes. During these past thirteen months, we have seen the idea and concept of home redefined. Homes have become places for remote work and schooling, safe spaces, retreats, and personal sanctuaries. Our team has stepped up to meet these evolving needs with home plans that are both open in feel yet achieve a balance between shared and private spaces. Kitchens have increased in size and functionality, and outdoor living areas have become staycation destinations. Home offices, at one time an afterthought and nice-to-have, have become one of the most requested design features in new homes.
As families reimagined life together at home, remodeling projects have skyrocketed nationally in their efforts to make renovations that complement their evolving lifestyles. Remodeling spending is expected to increase substantially in 2021, upwards of five percent in the Portland area, according to a recent study by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing. And for those who have outgrown their home or desire to start from a blank canvas, purchasing a brand-new home or resale home has become a top priority.
Housing Market Constraints
We have all been witness to a massive increase in housing demand locally throughout Portland and its surrounding communities. Housing inventory levels were low even before the pandemic began. According to the most recent RMLS information from March activity, the number of homes for sale is at an all-time low. With families unsure about their employment and economic futures, fewer resale homes are being put on the market. More people are wishing to move to the suburbs for bigger backyards and breathing room. The Portland area and Oregon in general remain a highly appealing place to live, so in-migration from other states also increases housing demand. Add to that material shortages, zoning challenges, and permitting delays, and you have an environment that makes it impossible for home builders to keep pace with this surging demand.
COVID Related Impacts
You have probably seen or read news reports of lumber availability and rising prices. Lumber inventory was already a concern before the pandemic began and has only worsened with these ramp-ups in new construction and remodeling activity. Mills closed down temporarily last spring and have struggled to catch up with this unprecedented demand. And lumber isn’t the only building material that’s been touched by pandemic impacts. Most commodity production is feeling the strain with supply chain obstacles like labor shortages and shipping delays affecting construction cycle times and home completion dates. We understand how challenging this is for our clients as they complete their home purchase and prepare to make moving or relocation preparations. Check out this video from KGW featuring our Director of Purchasing and Finance, Marc Hartman, discussing the lumber shortage.
How Renaissance Homes Is Helping Clients During This Time
Given these materials and labor challenges, changes to pricing and home delivery dates are all but inevitable. That’s why our clients can continue benefiting from our leadership team’s decades of experience building in greater Portland to help better navigate this period of change and uncertainty.
We design and build one-of-a-kind homes using a time-proven construction process that streamlines our clients’ purchase experiences. Our goal is to always offer a high level of predictability and transparency so they become active members of the Renaissance build team. That’s why we as a company have decided to release homes for sale when cabinetry and all millwork have been installed. We are also one of the few custom builders that enjoy direct purchasing relationships with key suppliers. Window delivery has become a real issue that has been causing construction delays, and we are pleased that our relationship with Milgard Windows & Doors has helped improve our construction time frames. We’re also using our industry knowledge and experience to anticipate downstream delays and are structuring the Design Studio appointments accordingly to reduce the need for re-selections.
We are all in this together, and we continue to seek out ways to make our clients’ build journeys even more streamlined and stress-free. We offer private tours of Renaissance homes seven days a week. If you are looking to purchase land or already own land and are interested in building a custom home, we can help with that too! Please contact us to schedule an appointment.