West Texas home builders split on what new $200 billion tariffs - FOX34 Lubbock

West Texas home builders split on what new $200 billion tariffs indicate for market

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

The Trump administration's $200 billion in new tariffs on Chinese imports could ripple into small businesses around West Texas, specifically for home builders. 

Jeff Seal, owner of Ventura Homes, said the tariffs will have a direct impact on his material costs.

"The main thing we're seeing with the tariffs is increased material costs. We've got flooring material that has gone up, we also have plumbing fixtures that are fixing to go up in November, and we've heard that we're supposed to be getting an increase in pricing of appliances. So quite a few materials of these houses are going up," Seal said. 

As a result, he said he expects his home prices to go up. 

"Well, we're probably going to end up going up on our home prices, in turn. We're kind of waiting to see because this stuff hasn't necessarily 100 percent taken effect, so we don't know exactly what the amount is going to be, but we should know something towards the end of the year," Seal said.

Seal said the uncertainty is what is most concerning.

"Obviously we're in the business of selling houses, and if we don't necessarily know what kind of cost and so forth we're going to expect on our end, then it's hard for us to know how to price our homes. And then ultimately if the price goes up, the number of buyers goes down typically, and then it affects everybody," Seal said.

Robert Wood, the incoming president of the Texas Association of Builders, said these tariffs are not as concerning as some may think.

"We did see a spike early when the tariffs happened. I think the suppliers get a little nervous about supply and demand so they came up, and so our National Association of Builders is really strong in Washington and have done a great job of bringing them back down. I would venture to say a slight increase is possible when it all settles out, but right now I think there's just a continued effort to keep things in check," Wood said. 

In regards to buying a home, Wood said you should be patient, as he thinks the market will hold. 

"In the meeting I've been in and the discussions I've had over the last couple weeks, I see no reason for anybody to get nervous about it. I would like to be able to tell you to go buy a house today because it's going up, but that's not really the truth. I think everything is going to hold steady," Wood said.  

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