Builders Expect This to Be Top Challenge in 2019

March 19, 2019

In 2018, the cost of building materials was the top challenge reported by home builders. In 2019, experts say it will be the skilled labor shortage

The latest data from the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index show that while the share of builders citing the cost and availability of labor as being the most widespread issue they face has gone unchanged from 2018 to 2019 thus far at 82 percent, it is now a larger share than that of builders reporting material prices as the chief headwind (87 percent in 2018; 69 percent in 2019). 

In 2011, building materials prices was reported as a significant problem by 33 percent of builders. The share increased to 46 percent in 2012, 68 percent in 2013, 58 percent in 2014, 42 percent in 2015, 48 percent in 2016 and 77 percent in 2017, before peaking at 87 percent in 2018. Meanwhile, only 13 percent of builders reported labor as a significant problem in 2011, followed by 30 percent in 2012, 53 percent in 2013, 61 percent in 2014, 71 percent in 2015, 78 percent in 2016 and 82 percent in both 2017 and 2018.

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