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A Look at the 2013 Building Market

Posted on Feb 19, 2013

According to the NAHB’s Housing and Interest Rate Forecast, housing starts and consumer confidence are predicted to grow by 52% in the next two years. But does this mean the housing industry is ready for such rapid growth? Today we will examine the building market and explain why now is the best time to start the process of creating your custom timber frame home if you plan to begin construction this year or next.

Demand on Labor

While consumer interests are increasing, the availability of labor in the industry has not made such improvements, creating a competitive market for couples wanting to build in the future. In the last 5 years, employment in the home building industry has decreased drastically; calculable to a loss of almost 1.5 million industry jobs. Even with the recent uptick in the economy, only 107,000 jobs have been added back. According to the BLS Establishment Survey, there are around 575,000 builders employed in the industry right now, and the addition of jobs back into the industry has been extremely slow since January of 2012. As the building market continues this climb over the next few years, the increasing competition to find builders to facilitate a project will be something to take into consideration when couples decide to start their custom home journey.

Demand for Qualified Builders

The increase in building starts, also affects the number of available professionals who are qualified and have the proper skillsets to build custom homes. For the quality building professionals around the country who were able to stay in business through the economic downturn, many turned to commercial work as the demand recovered more rapidly than residential. Now that home starts have caught up, many of these qualified building professionals may be locked in a long term commercial building commitment that keeps them from moving back into the residential market right away.

Material Pricing

An increase in material pricing is also starting to become evident in the market. According to the NAHB and Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, around ¾ of building professionals expect material prices to become a significant problem by the end of 2013.

Building with Riverbend

An average timber frame home project takes around 2-3 years from conception to completion. To help offset many of these impending industry issues, Riverbend offers our clients custom building solutions which could include using us as your general contractor. Our building system of timber framing and SIPs comes together quickly and can be installed by our in-house installation crew. Also, with our system and timber framing’s traditional use of fewer interior walls, not as many materials are needed in construction, which will create less of an impact on your turnkey costs.


With the developing state of the building market in mind, now is the time to get ahead of the curve and get started on your project before competition on labor and cost of materials continue to rise. Contact your area’s Riverbend representative today to learn how to get started on your project.




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