Individuals interested in building a new home will have to wait approximately six months before completion. According to data from the US Census Bureau, it is currently taking up to a half a year for a single family home to be built.
Tight Labor Market
According to Rick Judson, former chairman with the National Association of Home Builders, long construction times are blamed in part on a tight labor market. Based on how strong the labor market is for single family homes will dictate how long it takes for construction to be completed but this will always fluctuate. For instance, when demand is high such as during the housing boom days, construction took longer but after the housing market crisis delays were even longer because of builders being overly cautious.
In response to President Obama’s recent speech on economic recovery in Phoenix Arizona, Judson said that homeownership is in fact a huge part of the American Dream but currently, there are many creditworthy borrowers who are still unable to buy a home. When it comes to giving the economy a boost, building homes that warrants hundreds of thousands of jobs is the best way.
When the housing market was bad, a lot of tradespeople moved on to other trades or business opportunities, or went completely out of business. Those people will not return. As such, there is a void in the number of number of qualified professionals needed to build solid homes. This has been one reason for slow construction but weather also plays a key role. For example, concrete cannot be poured during periods of freezing weather. With limitations based on season, productivity is not as high as seen in the spring and summer months.
Of all locations of the United States, the Northeast is where it takes the longest to build a home while the shortest period is in the West and South where temperatures are generally warmer. In the Northwest, the current time it takes for home construction is 8.4 months while in the West, it is just 5.6 months.
In 1973 a single family home was built on average six months but then in 1980, the time jumped to almost seven months while it hit nearly eight months in 2009. The labor shortage for single family homes began to drop in 2005 when it peaked at 1.7 million but by 2009, it was down to just 445,000. Hit most were framing carpenters because to do the job it typically required less education and time.
Now, the latest data shows build time back around six months. While this is a relatively fast time, if the labor market were not as tight homes would be constructed faster. However, there will be shortages at times, professionals always show up during housing booms. Experts anticipate that in time, home construction will be quicker as the economy gets stronger and more professionals become available.