Despite a pressing need for new homes in all parts of the country, along with the continued increase in the nation’s population, construction continues to fall short.
That’s the consensus of more than one hundred investment strategists, realtors, and economists who say they are troubled by the fact that a benchmark of 1 million new built homes a year remains elusive.
In the survey, conducted jointly by the real estate website Zillow and the independent research firm Pulsenomics, 54 percent of respondents said they didn’t think the nation’s homebuilders will get to an annual 1 million units for another three years.
In a press release from Zillow discussing the survey results it was noted that “issues such as scarce land, a worker shortage, and high costs for permits and materials have plagued builders in recent years, making it increasingly difficult to profitably build large numbers of homes.”
Skylar Olsen, director of economic research for Zillow, said in a statement that without new homes to meet population growth and compensate for an aging housing stock, “Home buying is expected to move further out of reach.”
Olsen added that most home building experts today would like to see a rollback of local government rules regarding such issues as mandatory minimum lot sizes and land subdivision processes. Revising such rules, added Olsen, would allow for both increased industry flexibility while getting “more projects through the process faster.”
According to the website Statista, there were nearly 620,000 new homes built last year, a steady increase over the 302,000 that were built during the depths of the Great Recession in 2011.
But the 2018 numbers pale in comparison to pre-recession 2006 when nearly 1.3 million new homes were built.
By Garry Boulard
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