Shortage of lots hits record high

Nearly 23 percent of builders in a survey characterized the supply of buildable lots as “very low”

By Peter Fabris, Contributor | June 19, 2015

The number of homebuilders who reported a shortage of developed lots in their areas hit a record high of 62 percent in May. This is up 2 percent from last year, and far higher than the 43 percent who cited the problem in September 2012, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

Nearly 40 percent of builders in a survey characterized the supply of buildable lots as “low,” while 23 percent called it “very low.” The shortages are most severe in desirable “A” locations. The lack of developed lots is hurting the housing recovery, according to NAHB economist Ashok Chaluvadi. As a point of comparison, from 1960 to 2000 the average number of annual housing starts was 1.5 million, while in 2014, 1 million homes broke ground.

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