Labor constraints help explain Austin’s disparate home prices

Business

Home construction in Austin (KXAN)

AUSTIN (ABJ/KXAN) — Bobby Vasquez, who helps train construction workers, said the sheer heat of Austin’s housing demand has drawn workers in from as far as New York and Washington.

Still, there aren’t enough workers to go around in Austin.

“Every project is hurting,” said Vasquez, training coordinator in Austin for Gulf Coast Carpenters & Millwrights Training Trust Fund. “Everyone could use some help. There’s just not enough money. [Some jobs are] taking on inexperienced people, showing them what they need to know as they go. There’s just too much work and not enough workers.”

Nationwide new home construction hit historic highs in 2020, per a new report from ConstructionCoverage.com. In Texas, more than $40 billion of new construction was approved, making it the state with the highest value of residential construction.

The Austin metro alone spent more than $7 billion on new residential construction, the report states. At the same time, the region only had 44,520 construction workers to complete the high volume of homebuilding. 

Demand for homes — both newly built and existing — is skyrocketing.

In Austin, the median home price reached an all-time high over the past two months, with a single home coming with an average $465,000 price tag.

While this business is good for construction companies, it doesn’t fix an ongoing labor shortage amid surging construction costs on materials due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To read more, visit Austin Business Journal.

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