2 0 2 1 R E A L E S T A T E E D I T I O N
TRACKING THE COST BOOM
While home construction may not be impacted as strongly, aside from an increase in costs, local ocials have stated public con- struction projects have been heavily impacted due to inexible funding. This is because public projects are funded through tax dollars. In Wil- liamson County, commissioners plan to earmark about $1.8 million in fed- eral relief funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to cover a budget gap for the new Williamson County Chil- dren’s Advocacy Center. As lumber prices increased in 2021, the total cost of the initial $5.5 million project increased by 30%. In May, the design for the new center was about 75% complete but stalled until com- missioners weighed in. “It is not my intention to ... cover that [entire] $1.8 million with ARPA funds, but we’d like that exibility,” Williamson County Treasurer Scott Heselmeyer said. The new WCCAC would be built adjacent to the current structure on Wilco Way in Georgetown. The cen- ter has been temporarily housed in Round Rock since late March. In Round Rock, Park Development Director Katie Baker said the devel- opment of its projects that started before the shortage and price hike are continuing as planned. That includes Heritage Trail West, which began in January, prior to the onset of the price hikes. However, Heritage Trail East, which is still in the planning stages, may have to be reduced in size and inter- pretation due to increasing costs of supplies, according to the city. Material unavailability Robert Polanco, a building ocial with the city of Pugerville, said his
LUMBER LIQUIDATING Challenges in supply lines as well as logistics caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have reduced the amount of available lumber throughout the U.S., causing the cost to skyrocket. For example, if someone spent $1,000 on lumber in May 2020, they would have spent $3,880 on the same amount this May.
Major events recently occurred that drove price increases for building materials.
In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forces a closure of lumber and steel mills, which ceased production for several months. As more people are at home during lockdown, do-it-yourself and remodeling projects increase.
Increased demand for new homes is driven by low mortgage rates.
MARCH JUNE 2020
Pipeline, logistics and transportation issues, such as a shortage of truck drivers and limits on interstate travel, slow down the supply of products people are waiting for.
SOURCE: TRADING ECONOMICSCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
oce is not hearing from local devel- opers that construction costs are impacting their schedules. What is aecting their construction schedules, for the most part, is prod- uct availability, Polanco said. “Products ranging from windows to electrical breakers and panels to appliances have caused delays, since the installation of some of these prod- ucts are necessary for specic inspec- tions while constructing,” he said. Round Rock Chamber CEO Jason Ball said he has not heard that proj- ects in the area have been canceled due to material availability, but that delays are happening. “The interesting thing is even at the height of all this, the Austin metro was just trucking [along]; it just never slowed down,” Ball said. “And so we had hits in many sectors of the econ- omy, and those were really painful
and continue to have some fallout.” Though an overarching view of development projects throughout the Austin area may show an adap- tive building industry, material short- ages are still being felt in many places throughout Central Texas. Georgetown Chief Building O- cial Glen Holcomb said builders in Georgetown are only being aected in the nal stages of homebuilding by not receiving appliances ordered for new homes in a timely manner. Georgetown Economic Develop- ment Director Michaela Dollar said like most other cities, development in Georgetown is being aected by high costs and a shortage of materials. “We are working closely with our developers, business and develop- ment services department to align timelines and meet goals as best we can,” she said. “We are still seeing
The February winter storm causes massive amounts of pipe failure and demand for pipe ttings and PVC replacements.
SOURCE: TEXAS A&M FORESTRY SERVICE COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
high levels of development activity and permit applications, so it has not slowed down our activity in Georgetown.” Fernanda Figueroa, Ali Linan and Iain Oldman contributed to this report.
For more information, visit communityimpact.com .
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GEORGETOWN EDITION • JULY 2021
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