Homebuilders Face Supply Woes Besides Lumber
A shortage of framing lumber may be hobbling homebuilders but it’s not the single biggest shortage they face, according to a survey from the National Association of Home Builders.
Appliances topped the list followed closely by framing lumber. In the survey, 57% of the builders said there was a serious shortage while 38% said there was some shortage for a total of 95% reporting problems.
With framing lumber, builders were equally split between serious and some shortage for a total of 94%.
Soaring lumber prices have captured headlines but a shortage of appliances started to bubble up to the point that the association added the question to the 2021 survey.
“Historically, builders have not often complained about appliance shortages,” the association noted.
Today’s appliances, however, tend to have computer chips in them. Those are in short supply because of a surge in demand for electronics during the pandemic combined with production capacity limits to keep factory workers safe.
Collectively, products that include wood in some way are in short supply. Oriented strand board, plywood, windows and doors and roof trusses are high on the shortage list. Ready-mix concrete was lowest on the list, with 43% reporting shortages, 7% of which called it serious.
Biden Bends on Corporate Tax
President Biden is holding to his position on a corporate tax to pay for his proposed infrastructure plan but he has come down from increasing the rate and instead offered a minimum rate during negotiations with Republicans.
Biden originally proposed increasing the tax rate from 21% to 28% for his original $2.3 trillion plan, which has been reduced to about $1 trillion. Republicans pushed back on tax increases.
The president has proposed a minimum 15% corporate tax rate, the same rate the U.S. is working with other countries to establish globally.
On Saturday, the top finance ministers for the Group of Seven approved the 15% minimum tax, a move intended to prevent multinational countries from shielding profits from taxes through tax-have countries. It would affect such companies as Google, Amazon and Facebook.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the agreement creates momentum for ending the “race-to-the-bottom in corporate taxation and ensure fairness for the middle class and working people in the U.S. and around the world,” the Associated Press reported.
The next stop is the full G-7 annual meeting, then onto seeking broader support among 135 countries in Paris in July.
In the U.S., Biden’s domestic 15% rate followed reducing his spending plan earlier last week to about $1 trillion.
CBRE Rises on Fortune 500
Real estate firm CBRE Group moved up six spots on the Fortune 500 list this year of the largest publicly traded U.S. companies based on revenue while several companies that occupy a lot of real estate were newcomers to the list.
Dallas-based CBRE moved up to rank No. 122 on a list where the threshold begins at $5.4 billion in revenue. CBRE reported $23.8 billion in revenue last year, down 0.3% from the previous year.
Meanwhile, Louisville, Kentucky-based Yum Brands!, which owns fast food brands Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken, debuted at No. 478. Fast casual chain Chipotle, based in Newport Beach, California, hit the list at No. 469.
Columbus, Ohio-based Big Lots entered at No. 449. The retailer thrived during the pandemic selling furniture, kitchen appliances, cookware and electronics. It reported a record year with $6.2 billion in revenue.