Last year Dallas-Fort Worth homebuilders started almost 34,000 homes. The construction total would have been even greater if builders could have rounded up more workers. The labor shortage that's hammered the U.S. housing industry continues to be one of the biggest worries for builders. "We are 20,000 construction workers short in D-FW despite wages rising 35 percent for most needed trades," said Phil Crone, head of the Dallas Builders Association. "I only see the shortage easing if the demand eases, I don't see that occurring in an impactful way. "More than 92 percent of our members cite the lack of labor as having a significant impact on their business," Crone said. "In most cases that's adding a month and more than $5,000 to every home built in our area." Ted Wilson with Dallas-based housing analyst Residential Strategies said that some of the builders his firm works with are reporting an increase in skilled tradesmen on their job sites. That helped them increase home starts in North Texas by 15 percent in 2017, compared to the nationwide single-family home start rise of 9 percent. "But labor is still a big issue for our builders and is limiting construction," Wilson said.
- Dallas Morning News, January 15, 2018