The labor shortage in new-home construction is pervasive. The National Association of Home Builders found confirmation of this in its most recent survey of its members. Eye on Housing reports:
Topping the list of problems builders faced in 2016 and expect to face in 2017 is the Cost/Availability of Labor, a significant issue for 78% of builders in 2016 and one that has significantly grown in importance since 2011. That year, 13% of builders rated labor as a significant problem, followed by 30% in 2012, 53% in 2013, 61% in 2014 and 71% in 2015.
The second most significant problem in 2016 was Cost/Availability of Developed Lots-cited by 60% of builders. In 2011, the Cost/Availability of Lots was rated significant by 21% of builders who responded to the survey. That share increased to 34% in 2012, 46% in 2013, 55% in 2014 and again to 58% in 2015. Both the availability of labor and lots highlight the expected constraints of a recovering housing market.
Impact/Hook-up/Inspection or other Fees was a significant problem for 60% of builders in 2016. In 2013, it was a problem for 46% of builders, 52% in 2014, and 53% in 2015 and is expected to be an issue by 61% in 2017. Federal Environmental Regulations and Policies was a significant problem for 58% of builders in 2016. In 2013, this was rated a significant problem by 46% of builders, 53% in 2014 and then 55% in 2015.