Top Concern for Builders Remains Unchanged in 2017

Filed in Economics, Home Building by on January 26, 2017 28 Comments

help wanted signMore 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.



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  1. Nashville says:

    Not surprised! With the market like it is, labor’s getting difficult and costly. Many builders in my area have to source skilled labor from out of state, and prices keep going up!

  2. My biggest concern is development and construction financing. The banks in my area have not come back into the market.

  3. Phil huffner says:

    There are plenty of young people without work and most are also without skills. When are we going to wake up, help is not going to fall out of the sky. High Schools should be offering classes for most trades Now! Maybe the HBA should be thinking about a training program. Young people are not going to stay in the trades without a livable wage and contractors can’t pay that if young people come to the table without skills.

  4. our concern here in Ohio is increase in the cost of construction. Framing package on a 2200 sq ft home went up a little over 2000.00 from June 2016 to Jan 2017.

  5. Gene Myers says:

    The market has not yet recovered ! Finding market for new houses is my biggest challenge. New housing markets will remain flat until people start changing jobs and/or start making more money so they are looking for new housing.

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