Builders surveyed in January 2015 ranked the most significant problems expected to face the industry in 2015. Topping the list was the Cost/Availability of Labor, an issue which has increased in importance the past two years. In 2013, 53% of builders rated Labor as a significant problem, followed by 61% in 2014 and 68% in 2015. This trend suggests an improving housing market, with an expected skilled labor shortage constraining that recovery. Building Material Prices ranked second, with 66% of builders of the opinion that it is expected to be a significant problem in 2015. In 2013, 68% of builders rated Building Materials as a significant problem, but that share decreased to 58% in 2014. Stable framing lumber and OSB prices in 2014 reflected a somewhat disappointing year for housing production. Stronger demand in 2015, coupled with low mortgage rates and improving credit conditions, suggest renewed pressure for higher building material prices.

  

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