Harvey will hammer Texas' already stretched building industry – Dallas News (blog)

Texas’ already tight housing market is going to feel a bigger pinch as a result of Hurricane Harvey.

The damage from the storm will add to shortages of labor and push up prices on building materials as Gulf Coast communities recover.

Thousands of homes and apartments were either destroyed or damaged as Harvey moved inland near Corpus Christi, then followed the coast north to the Houston area.

Before the storm, Texas’ was the country’s largest homebuilding market.

Now builders and construction workers who were already struggling to keep up with the state’s demand for new housing are going to face the challenge of replacing and repairing what Harvey wrecked.

“The homebuilders, remodelers and construction people are going to be busy for the next two years,” said Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “There was not very much extra capacity in the construction market, and now there will be higher strain to repair and replace what got damaged.”

Even Texas cities that suffered no storm damage, including Dallas, could see a shortage of building-sector workers as people head south to deal with the damage.

“I’m glad this didn’t happen a year ago when my house was being built,” Gaines said.

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