At the recent Nashville Business Breakfast, Louisiana-Pacific Corp. CEO Curt Stevens spoke about the greatest issues currently facing his business: the delayed single-family buying habits of Millennials and the supply and cost of labor, especially as skilled immigrant workers are increasingly returning to Mexico to stay.
Stevens, whose public company makes wood products for use by home builders, notes as millennials are waiting until later in life to marry, start families, and buy homes, the builders that LP provides products for are waiting longer to buy and build in order to meet millennial demand. He also predicts a shrinking market for entry-level housing, as millennials may have greater income than starter homes of previous generations – that, and the cost of regulations can make low-cost housing unfeasible.
Stevens attributes this net Mexican migration to Mexico’s demographics and to recent American attitudes about immigration policy. To help builders avoid the squeeze of this labor constraint, LP is developing new products that combine separate construction steps.