The U.S. National Home-builders Association has issued an ominous warning which could have Canadian consequences.
They say while demand for new homes continues to rise, fewer workers are entering the industry, as the existing labour forces ages into retirement.
Lumber analyst Russ Taylor says this will lead to longer construction times for homes, a key driver of low housing inventory, pushing up housing prices across the U.S. and eventually in Canada.
“Going forward there is not enough skilled labour available to build houses. There is not enough buildings lots available because they can’t go through permitting and they can’t get it developed fast enough because of also a problem with labour. So that has been an issue that has been haunting the industry the past seven or eight years as they try and ramp up.”
He says to get around the labour shortage the industry is more and more turning to prefabricated components.
Taylor points to a worldwide trend noting wood-frame houses built using prefabricated components account for nearly 30% of builds in England and Ireland and 70% in Scotland.