The Crazy Days are Back, New Construction Stretches Out

Real Estate Agent with Downing-Frye Realty, Inc. Naples, FL

The Crazy Days are Back, New Construction Stretches Out

Labor Shortages Causing Longer Lead Times

Today I worked with a customer contracting to build/buy a new home in Naples. Contract to move-in time was quoted to be nine months! Now, we're talking about a nice home but it is a builder's tract home model.

What's causing the delay? In general, a labor shortage. Homes are lined up just waiting for the availability of labor and material to start the next phase.

We drove buy several homes in the state as the one pictured to the right. Blocks are up and they are sitting there waiting their turn for delivery of trusses and the labor to put them up. We were told that the shortage is nationwide.

Now isn't that interesting...? Looking for work...?


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  1. Sandra Watkins 09/11/2012 10:27 PM
Real Estate General Information
Florida Collier County Naples
new construction

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NoCo Home Team
C3 Real Estate Solutions - Fort Collins, CO
Sell Smart, Buy Wise & Live Well in Nrthn Colorado

Hey Bob - we are definitely seeing it here, in my backyard in fact. We have a development going in on the open space behind our home and its amazing how many homes are being built in town at this time. We've been watching the progress and so far things are booking right along with the construction but I know a few other developments that are on hold due to labor issues. Great post!


Sep 11, 2012 01:10 PM #4
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Bob, so it is a manufacturing shortage? or labor shortage? or both? I have been concerned about this as well for our new construction, as many of the capable people found other jobs or moved and are not coming back to our area.


Sep 11, 2012 01:56 PM #5
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Bob, and Frank & Sharon:  Well of COURSE there's a labor shortage.  And guess who you can blame for that.  So many of the folks who are willing to do that really tough construction work... pouring slabs to hanging drywall to painting the interior and exterior... so many of them have been chased out of the state.

It's the same "labor shortage" that has been happening farmers, too... all through the south.  Farmer's crops rotting... just hanging there... because there's nobody to harvest them.  They have all been scared off... and, can you blame them.  The Republican governors and state legislatures asked for it... and now they're getting it put right to them.  They deserve it, too.

Luckily, some of the more moderate Republican governors have told their state legislators to "back off" with the crazy laws they've been passing... so the "illegals" (I hate that word... it's so demeaning) will come back to their states and do the work nobody else will.

Sep 11, 2012 05:12 PM #6
Bob Pisa, Broker Associate
Downing-Frye Realty, Inc. Naples, FL - Naples, FL
Commitment, Service, Satisfaction...

Sharon #5, I don't believe that there are any raw material shortages. So my presumption based on the comment was largely labor to install, but it could well be labor to build trusses from the raw materials. Seems that it would follow.

Sep 11, 2012 09:47 PM #7
Jon Solomon
Javic Homes - Tampa, FL

Bob - As a builder just north of you in Tampa, we're definitely experiencing the same.  Not positive it's a national issue yet, but certainly a problem in Florida.  The construction labor force has left for other areas of the country or other industries.  I'd expect it to stabilize but don't expect any Extreme Home timeframes in the near future.

Sep 11, 2012 10:08 PM #8
Lynda White
Bluegrass Homes & Farms Realty, Agent Know How - Louisville, KY
Admin. Mgr., Keller Williams Realty

New construction is picking up nicely here in Kentucky too, as I've been telling everyone for a few months. But I don't see a labor shortage here, yet. It's nice that the laid-off new construction workers (including my husband) can go back to work. 

Sep 11, 2012 10:15 PM #9
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Thanks Bob, its been a while since we have had any labor shortages around here, maybe I should get all of my construction projects finished before the labor starts getting expensive here.

Sep 11, 2012 10:53 PM #10
Ron Aguilar
Continental Mortgage - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

new construction is a good thing

Sep 11, 2012 11:40 PM #11
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging

It seems hard to imagine. I know several contractors that are just chomping at the bit, so hard hit by the downturn in new construction and remodeling. I can't imagine it is that they have left the state (as someone said ealier) where would they go? So many states are in the same boat. 

Sep 11, 2012 11:45 PM #12
Ashley Connolly
Northeast Water Wells Inc - Jaffrey, NH

We have noticed a steady incline in work latley and it is largley contributed to new houses being built.  This is pretty exciting because if general contractors are bulding again then it opens up a steady line of work for sub contractors.  Lets hope this is a sign of a stronger economy and a Brighter future!!!

Sep 12, 2012 01:45 AM #13
Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
REALTOR and Broker

I've heard of the labor shortage here in certain areas of CA as well.  For once, I believe a shortage is a good, positive thing.  I'm glad to see FL is recovering.

Sep 12, 2012 01:57 AM #14
Joe LaVallie
HomeStreet Bank - Mountlake Terrace, WA

The nature of markes right? To much and then not enough.

Sep 12, 2012 03:15 AM #15
Bob Pisa, Broker Associate
Downing-Frye Realty, Inc. Naples, FL - Naples, FL
Commitment, Service, Satisfaction...

Jon #8, thanks for that feedback. It was mentioned that this is a statewide issue here. You have independently confirmed that.

Just this morning I was talking with a customer of mine that I sold new construction to a while ago. They closed in July. There are about a dozen lots remaining and/or in the process of construction. He reported that the site construction manager said the same thing. One home is waiting three weeks with roof tiles on the ground with no labor to install them and another home has the trusses on the ground with no labor to install those either.

Joe #15, this is the nature of markets.

Brings to mind the old adage, make hay while the sun shines...

Sep 12, 2012 03:24 AM #16
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Melissa:  Most states are not in the "same boat" that I am speaking of.  I was kind of beating around the bush in my comment, but I might as well get specific. 

The exceedingly restrictive laws that some states passed to keep Mexican "illegals" out of their state... well, those same laws chased out a huge source of laborers from those same states.

Very, very hard working people.  Honest, dependable, family-oriented.  They had been the backbone of the construction industry's labor force for many, many states, and for many, many years.  Then... all of a sudden... the radicals in the state houses saw what Arizona did with their 1070 law... and passed laws that either met those restrictions... or even exceeded them.

That left many states with crops that rotted waiting to be harvested, foundations waiting to be built for new homes, roadways and other concrete work that went unstarted as the big construction machines sat idle.  That huge, cheap labor force panicked, and left those particular states.

Other states, ones that had the wisdom to NOT pass those kinds of excessive laws... benefited from the large labor pool that resulted.

Make hay while the sun shines?  How about "harvest the crops before they rot?"

Sep 12, 2012 03:37 AM #17
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

In Texas... in most parts of the state... once permits are submitted and approved... most first and second home-buyer homes are typically built in 90 to 105 days... three to three-and-one-half months.  And built very well, I might add.  In this type of "stage building"... there is usually one type of "trade" or another in each home every day.  Sometimes including week-ends.

Sep 12, 2012 04:07 AM #18
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


I hope the people who are out of work are able to find a job in Florida.  I will have to check to see if construction in California is also having this problem.

Sep 12, 2012 07:43 AM #19
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team
Hi Bob been a buyer then and not an agent can't wait to experience those crazy days!
Sep 12, 2012 09:01 AM #20
Nan Jester
Exit Real Estate Gallery Jacksonville Beach, FL - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Realtor, Exit Real Estate Gallery

What next? We finally have construction and real Estate inching back and then labor shortages? ACK!!!

Sep 13, 2012 01:25 AM #21
Sylvie Stuart
Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765 - Flagstaff, AZ
Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta

I just closed on a new build in Flagstaff that was delayed weeks because of a similar issue. You'd think with so many people looking for work this wouldn't be such an issue

Sep 16, 2012 11:59 PM #22
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

BOB & others:  Several times I included in my above comments on this post that a big part of the labor shortage was the absence of immigrant workers... who had been chased out of the states that were affected by the crazy anti-"illegal alien" laws they had passed.

Finally... just today I saw an post that confirms what I said.  Alabama Immigration Law Causes Labor Shortage, Forces Importation Of Immigrants.  I would love to hear your response to this.

Sep 24, 2012 06:13 PM #23
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