As housing inventory continues to drop, the affordability crisis remains on the top of the industry’s mind: Even with high demand, if there are too few homes priced too high, it will hurt the health of the market. Some issues of cost are out of builders' hands, such as regulatory decisions and zoning constraints. But building efficiently and streamlining the development process are ways that builders can help keep houses affordable. Find out how to keep costs down by making smaller, denser lots, working with developers to make a cohesive game plan, and avoiding litigation.
How many more ways to sunset can I cover this topic? That same evening, I was chatting with a couple of industry leaders in engineering and construction. They too had seen the graph and offered their take on issues driving up the cost of housing. On Wednesday, I attended the Northeast Florida Builders’ Association (NEFBA) meeting in Jacksonville and yet again, the topic was about the rise in housing costs.
The bottom line is that this goes far beyond cutting construction costs – it is a perfect storm of hurdles that we as an industry have to overcome. Too often, housing depends on multiple disciplines that work independently of one another without sharing their thoughts and ideas in real time on ways to cut down the cost of housing. While I can talk until the cows come home on where to cut costs in design, that’s only a small piece of the pie. Without a real commitment to collaboration, our singular efforts will be futile.
SO WHERE DO WE START?
There are numerous examples throughout our industry where simple collaboration could be effective at lowering the cost of housing. I would like to hear your own thoughts, but I’ll start the conversation with a few ideas: