Even as U.S. housing rebounds from its worst downturn since the 1930s, production bottlenecks are pushing up building-materials costs, land prices are rising and skilled labor ready to begin work is hard to find.
Paul Laney landed a job two months ago as a home inspector in Woodstock, Georgia, as the city added staff to oversee a growing residential construction industry. “I am really ecstatic about it,” said Laney, 52, who closed his own contracting business in 2007.
Construction crews are returning to the Cascades of Groveland, a gated 55-and-older community west of Orlando, Florida, almost three years after its bankrupt developer left owners of the existing 238 houses surrounded by empty lots, partially built homes, and an unfinished clubhouse.
The U.S. housing market, entering its busiest season, is tipped so far in favor of sellers that almost a third of listings in areas from Washington, D.C., to Denver and Seattle are under contract in two weeks or less.
For the latest sign of a U.S. housing rebound, Toll Brothers Inc. Chief Executive Officer Douglas Yearley points to Hoboken, New Jersey: A couple torn between two condos last month at the sales office for its Hudson Tea complex decided to think about it over lunch. When they returned an hour later, both units were gone.
Brad Hunter, chief economist at national director of consulting at Metrostudy, predicts a 30% increase in multifamily housing starts. Hunter talks with Kathleen Hays on "The Hays Advantage" on Bloomberg Radio.
Brad Hunter, chief economist and national director of consulting for Metrostudy, is "calling for an increase in housing starts in 2012." Hunter talks with Bloomberg's Ken Prewitt and Tom Keene on Bloomberg Radio's "Bloomberg Surveillance."
Shelby Webb, 22, rented her first apartment three weeks ago in Chattanooga, Tennessee, after landing a job translating ads for a Spanish-language newspaper. Now, she’s paying monthly bills for electricity, cable television and natural gas for the first time and has bought new pillows from Wal-Mart Stores Inc.