NEW YORK - Are you having a hard time getting a dishwasher, stove, or refrigerator? You are not alone. The U.S. is facing an appliance shortage.
"You will wait 2 or 3 weeks worst-case scenario for eyeball stuff but you always had availability of appliances. It was never a shortage anywhere near this," says Richard Merhige, owner of Jay’s Appliance Center in Levittown, Long Island.
According to Merhige, it was last May when rumors began that factories were going to close due to the pandemic.
"When I heard the rumor I said where there is smoke there is fire. I went and brought as much merchandise, I cashed in every dollar I had and my resources to buy product," said Merhige.
He spent over a million dollars and stocked up, but a year later, the long backlogs continue.
It's not just a supply issue that is causing this shortage but also a record demand due to an uptick in home remodeling projects now that people are spending more time at home.
The National Association of Home Builders conducted a survey of single-family builders nationally and found out that 90% of builders are reporting serious difficulty obtaining appliances on time.
"We have heard from builders that their appliances have been on backorder for months," said Rose Quint, the Assistant Vice President for survey research at NAHB.
Some builders say that their appliances are on backorder for months and some builders are now selling homes without appliances.