Construction delays ongoing as costs are on the rise

New NMHC Apartment Construction Survey finds developers face escalating costs, labor shortages, permitting delays


Fully 97 percent of apartment developers report experiencing construction delays according to the National Multifamily Housing Council’s (NMHC) Construction Quarterly Survey. Of those experiencing overall delays, 83 percent reported delays in permitting and 93 percent reported delays in starts.

Labor availability continues to hamper apartment construction. Just more than half of respondents (53 percent) reported that labor costs increased as expected over the last three months, while an additional 40 percent believed labor costs increased more than expected.

When it comes to materials and pricing 83 percent of respondents reported that deals have been repriced up over the past three months.

Prices are on the climb

“Rising costs, construction delays and labor shortages—never mind more regulatory barriers and rampant NIMBYism—are making it more and more difficult to build the housing our country so badly needs,” said Doug Bibby, NMHC President. “Former President Obama had it right when he recently said that laws and regulations at the local level are inhibiting the creation of affordable housing. Policymakers need to partner with the private sector to bring down costs and find real solutions.”

More context

This research comes on the heels of an NMHC/NAHB study that found regulation imposed by all levels of government accounts for an average of 40.6 percent of multifamily development costs. Some developers are now altogether avoiding communities with too draconian regulatory regimes.

  • 87.5 percent of developers avoid working in jurisdictions with rent control.
  • 47.9 percent of developers said they avoid building in a jurisdiction with inclusionary zoning requirements.