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Labor Shortage Sparks Production Delays for Homebuilders

  • Meritage, Hovnanian say lack of workers lengthens completions
  • Texas rains and Colorado winter pressure builders to pay up
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Homebuilders spent years waiting for the U.S. jobless rate to fall so that more people would buy houses. Now that employment is up, they’re struggling to meet demand as a scarcity of construction workers worsens.

Meritage Homes Corp. plunged last week after lowering its earnings forecast, citing rising labor costs and a shortage of workers to finish houses. Shea Homes, Hovnanian Enterprises Inc., Beazer Homes USA Inc. and William Lyon Homes have pointed to a paucity of tradesmen for a slowdown in completions in some markets.