Home builders and architects share their observations on house statistics and buyer demographics.
It’s little surprise in a post-recession housing market that builders, architects, and designers in Professional Builder’s House/Buyer survey would cite rising labor and materials expenses as factors pushing up their cost per square foot. Now that residential construction is about three years into recovery, survey participants noted in open text comments that they are more recently contending with increases across the board for all their materials and labor.
Survey participants also responded that they are building more high-performance homes, and that the high-end material and labor for those projects is more expensive. Builders frequently mentioned that there is a shortage of skilled trades in their markets, so subs are bidding higher prices. Among the trades mentioned where cost increases have been acute are drywallers, electricians, concrete and site-prep workers, finish carpenters, and painters.
Some builders and architects also added that house designs are more complex and require specialized labor, associated materials, and additional structural engineering. Another common observation about rising cost is that buyers expect more amenities in their homes. Additional information about cost, house size, and buyer profiles is in the charts that follow.