May 18, 2021 - Economy

Housing's building backlog

Data: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

There's a growing backlog of homes that have been cleared to be built, but construction hasn't started yet, new data Tuesday shows.

Why it matters: There's fervent housing demand, but builders could be delaying new construction. Blame shortages and soaring costs for materials like lumber.

  • April housing starts dropped a worse-than-expected 9.5% from the prior month. But it's coming off the highest level since 2006.
  • Applications for future construction exceeded the pace of housing starts, Bloomberg notes.
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