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Labor Shortage Affects Housing Market
August 23, 2019

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released a poll last month that covered 15 specific construction-related occupations and found labor shortages in each category.

Labor shortages ranged from 47% of builders reporting a shortage of building-maintenance managers to a whopping 83% reporting a shortage of framing crews.

NAHB asked survey respondents about the effects that labor shortages have had on their businesses over the past year. More than three-quarters of all respondents cited four effects, and the respondents cited similar effects to what NAHB has reported on consistently over the past several years. These include causing builders to pay higher wages and subcontractor bids (87% of respondents), difficulty to complete projects on time (81%), difficulty to find subcontractors with well-trained workers (79%), and higher home prices (75%).

It comes as no surprise that these widespread labor shortages continue to drive up home prices and hurt affordability. Earlier this year, BIAW joined forces with the Association of Washington Business (AWB) and eight other partners to hold a Housing Forum July 8 at the Hilton Bellevue.

At the forum, Director of Washington State Real Estate Research at the University of Washington James Young stated that statewide Washington is 7 million housing units short and if nothing changes and the trends continue as they are now, the future of the housing market in Washington looks dim. 70% of the city populations will be renters and 29% of homebuyers would move to other states to find more affordable options.

If you have felt the effects of labor shortage in your company or on a jobsite, please email your stories to Communications Writer and Editor Bailee Wicks, baileew@biaw.com.

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