NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — It’s the foundation of just about everything, and now, it’s the latest to fall victim to supply chain constraints.
There is a low supply of cement, which is leading to issues with the supply of concrete.
The executive director of the Tennessee Concrete Association, Alan Sparkman, recently sent out a letter to the concrete construction industry across Tennessee, saying the industry is experiencing unprecedented issues with obtaining the raw materials to produce ready-mixed concrete, especially with Portland cement.
In turn, ready-mix producers can only supply a limited supply of ready-mixed concrete each week, forcing contractors to schedule pours well in advance.
“The current problem is certainly real,” Sparkman said. “We’re seeing schedules lengthen, but based on everything we know… I think we will work through this over the summer.”
Builders and investors are getting crushed from rising rates and materials to a lack of workers, all of which impact the price of a home.
“A big issue for the concrete industry and heavy hauling industries is what has happened to the cost of diesel so that has caused prices to escalate for concrete and for anything else that comes in on the truck,” Sparkman said.
According to the National Association of Home Builders, building material prices increased more than 20% year over year, rising 33% since the start of the pandemic.
“You pour the concrete, then you buy the lumber, you start building the house… it’s gotten so crazy so all of these builders either cant build or can’t give you a price,” said Bruce McNeilage, President of Kinloch Partners.
By the time the house is built, the hopeful buyer is priced out; rising interest rates are making matters even worse.
“The mom-and-pop, middle-class person who was scraping enough money to buy a house can no longer afford it,” McNeilage said.
It’s a sad reality that will continue until the supply chain catches up, inventory rises and demand drops.
Though Sparkman says the shortage in supply of concrete isn’t so much delaying projects across the city, other supply chain issues are, with 76% of builders and remodelers reporting delays of one month or more, according to John Burns Real Estate Consulting.