Builder Magazine recently published an overview of the new home market for the next several years. (Read it here.) It’s factual, reasonable and actually should put us all at ease and encourage new investment and innovation. But some of us still have shaky, quakey memories of 1990 and 2007, both nationally, and particularly in the Salish Sea region, where we live and work. I’m going to read the article twice more and try to absorb the solid numbers backing up the industry’s optimism.
One of the sidenotes is the call for production innovation due to the lack of skilled construction labor. This is something long overdue in the new home industry. Building homes like they did in the 1920s is not something for which our industry should be proud.
Robert Dietz, Chief Economist of the National Association of Home Builders says. “We need to find ways of increasing productivity, maybe that means more factory-built components, more panel, [or] more modular construction, which only makes up 3% of single-family construction. We’re going to have to get more productivity out of our workforce, because the worker shortage really doesn’t look like it’s going to change much over the next few years.”