Home building has hit its highest levels since August 2007, rising 25.5% to a seasonally adjusted 1.3 million in October. Single-family home construction was up just 10.7%, while apartment construction saw a 75% jump.
While the growth in the industry is great news, concerns over the labor shortage and its effects on costs have more builders worried about meeting the potential demand. As the industry is notorious for relying on immigrants, with an estimated 1.1 million immigrants employed in the sector, legislators are wondering what will happen to housing if President-elect trump moves forward with a mass deportation.
Applications for building permits, a good sign of future activity, barely rose to 1.23 million, the highest in a year. Still, that followed a much larger 6.3 percent gain in the previous month.
Employers are adding an average of about 175,000 jobs a month, and the unemployment rate fell to a low 4.9 percent in October. Average hourly pay rose in the past year by the fastest pace since before the recession began, boosting the confidence of would-be buyers.