Charlotte Home Builders Face Employee Shortages
Charlotte home builders, struggling to meet recent buyer demand, can’t find enough new employees after laying thousands of them off in the financial crisis. Delays are creeping into new projects and a lack of skilled tradesmen could artificially accelerate the already-rising prices of new homes. A shortage of employees at county permitting offices is not helping, either.
In addition to affecting pricing, the most likely result of this is going to be a shrinking availability of new homes. Home builders and subcontractors say they see multiple factors at play: smaller builders remain too uncertain of the economy to hire, and bigger ones are finding the labor pool thinned out by new rules tightening proof-of-citizenship requirements for workers.
Potential shortages come as pent-up demand for homes has pushed prices up significantly in the Charlotte MLS coverage area. In almost all of these MLS areas, it’s a seller’s market, with multiple offers landing on some homes. The Charlotte market has significantly less than 6-month supply of new housing. It needs a seven-month supply, since it takes about seven months to get new homes built and closed. During the worst of the downturn... not that long ago really, the region had a 10-month supply backed up.