More than four out of five builders expect to face serious challenges regarding the cost and availability of labor in 2017, according to a recent survey of members that ran in the monthly NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.
The questions asked builders about the problems they confronted in 2016 and expect to face in 2017. Topping the list is the cost and availability of labor, a significant issue for 78% of builders in 2016. A full 82% expect this will be their No. 1 issue in 2017.
This is a problem that has been steadily gaining steam over the past few years. To put it into perspective, just 13% of builders rated labor issues an important concern in 2011, followed by 30% in 2012, 53% in 2013, 61% in 2014 and 71% in 2015.
NAHB economist Ashok Chaluvadi provides more analysis on the labor shortages and the rest of the top 10 list in this recent Eye on Housing blog post.