USA Today's Paul Davidson looks at one of the fundamental problems standing in the way of our sector's growth--the scarcity of good lots.
Part of what's driving the trend is overly prescriptive regulations, as well as a limited amount of liquidity available to buy lots. What's more, the trend toward urban living means a trend toward places without much land left:
"It's likely limiting the number of new homes for sale," says David Crowe, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). And, he adds, tighter supplies are "raising the price of a house."
... Earlier this year, 57% of builders said they expect the cost and availability of developed lots to be among their most significant problems in 2015, up from the 46% who rated it a big issue in 2013 ... Builders surveyed by NAHB this year said regulatory requirements have added seven months to development, up from four months in 2011.