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It's the economy...and the winter storm, and the pandemic: Why it's taking so long to build new homes in Texas

Builders are trying to catch up to staggering demand.

DALLAS — We keep hearing about the housing shortage. Can’t they just build more? Well, they’re trying. The Houston and Dallas metros come in at No. 1 and No. 2 for the most permits in the country so far this year for new single-family homes.

According to Census Bureau data for January through April, there have been 18,022 building permits issued in the Houston area and 17,732 in the DFW area.

It’s so competitive in Texas right now, it’s hard to even find land to build on. Residential construction expert Ted Wilson said the supply of vacant lots has declined from a normal 24-month supply down to under a 16-month supply. 

And the Texas A&M Real Estate Research Center says trends show that construction is expected to keep accelerating in North Texas. 

RELATED: 3 things are fueling the current housing market surge, expert says

Builders are trying, but because of building material shortages caused by the pandemic, the February deep freeze, and problems at some key manufacturing plants, home builders say it’s taking 60 to 90 days longer than normal to put up new homes. 

Some builders say if someone decides today that they want to start a new home build, the total wait could be a year or longer.

One family told WFAA that they are expecting to have their new home finished in September 2021, around 19 months after starting their project. And that assumes no more delays.  

We are getting a great explanation of what’s happening in our latest episode of our Y’all-itics podcast. 

Listen below and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts for more insight into the biggest stories in Texas: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher Amazon Music