Labor Shortage Driving Up Prices Of New Homes

Published: Friday, March 24, 2017 - 5:10am
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(Photo by Christina Estes - KJZZ)
Infill home construction near 7th Avenue and Bethany Home Road in Phoenix.

Over the past 18 months, Meritage Homes CEO Steve Hilton said first-time homebuyers made up 70 percent of sales.

“I think the market’s gonna continue to get better,” he said. And, likely more expensive.

During last month’s Urban Land Institute conference in Phoenix, a panel of builders discussed the worker shortage. 

“Labor’s gonna drive up costs, and the spread between buying a new home and a used home in a similar location is as wide as it’s ever been and it’s going to get wider and it’s going to make new homes less affordable,” Hilton said.

Sheryl Palmer, CEO of Taylor Morrison Homes, said, “So it’s gonna get worse before it gets better.” 

She said builders are working with schools, trade associations and veterans groups to create apprenticeships and offer scholarships.