Labor, material shortages disrupt new home construction in the Greater Houston area

After Hurricane Harvey, resources were needed to rebuild homes damaged in the storm, which limited the number of homebuilders that were able to build at the end of last year, said Lawrence Dean, regional director of Metrostudy Houston, a real estate and housing market research group.

“Post-Harvey, a significant number of homes had to be rebuilt,” Dean said. “So, homebuilders found that certain types of specialty trade were in short supply.”

Dean said there was a shortage of skilled laborers, such as drywall finishers and cabinetry experts in the Greater Houston area’s housing market, which meant new homes took longer to build.

On average, it takes builders about four to six months to build a home, although it depends on the size and design of the property, Dean said. However, the shortage of laborers caused an average home’s production timeline to increase by one to two months after Harvey.

“A lot of customers who are having their homes built would use that [four- to six-month] benchmark to plan on when they are going to sell their home and move,” Dean said. “But when a home takes [an additional] two months to build, it [causes confusion for homeowners.]”

Dean said now that the region is almost a year removed from Harvey, production timelines are beginning to revert back to normal.

“We saw a reversal [in the amount of new home construction] in the first 90 days of 2018,” Dean said. “The last few weeks I’ve asked builders, and they say, ‘It has gotten better.’”
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By Zac Ezzone

Zac Ezzone began his career as a journalist in northeast Ohio, where he freelanced for a statewide magazine and local newspaper. In April 2017, he moved from Ohio to Texas to join Community Impact Newspaper. He worked as a reporter for the Spring-Klein edition for more than a year before becoming the editor of the Lake Houston-Humble-Kingwood edition.


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