Home building in Austin is taking longer and longer

Austin builders are starting a lot of new homes. Finishing them is not so simple. For much of the pandemic, the homebuilding industry has endured delays because of supply chain issues: One month builders can’t get door handles. The next, it’s door hinges, windows and refrigerators. And now this shortage has converged with another: a lack of skilled workers and employees.

While builders in the Austin area are starting new homes at historic numbers, the number of new homes finished and sold lags behind. According to the real estate research firm Zonda, builders started roughly 26,500 new homes during the first few months of this year, while homebuyers closed on just under 20,000 new homes. Compare that to the last months of 2019, when the number of new homes started and new homes sold diverged by just 300 homes.