The pandemic brought on a housing scramble in Vermont. Mad River Valley realtors have attested to a post-COVID real estate boom, citing instances where buyers moved forward with offers on local properties without ever stepping foot inside.
Over in Burlington, VTDigger reported that real estate agents have never seen such competitiveness in Burlington before: Reasonably priced homes are selling within days, sometimes before they’re even formally listed.
The Valley Reporter wanted to know if this housing boom has affected local builders as well. Ron Graves, owner of Brother Builders in Waitsfield, said it has.
“We are busy typically with or without COVID,” said Graves, “But what COVID has done is stretched our future.” Normally, Graves and his team have building projects planned up to a year in advanced. “Now, rather than looking a year forward, we are looking at three years forward,” said Graves.
While COVID may be responsible for driving up the housing demand in Vermont, another problem is limiting the ability to get these projects done sooner.
“We have to plan farther into the future because there is a lack of workforce here in Vermont,” said Graves. “We are ready to build, but we don’t have the workforce.”
Since other building companies are grappling with similar demand, supplies are scarce as well, driving up prices and lengthening lead times -- the amount of time between the start and completion of a project. “Lead times on items have become extended. It’s more unpredictable,” said Graves.
The demand for builders comes from a variety of sources. People are doing more than just building homes. According to Graves, they are also doing large renovation projects and building home additions. “It’s all across the board,” said Graves.