Industry News

Hurricane drives up real estate construction costs

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The impacts of Hurricane Katrina will reverberate across the U.S. housing market and economy, the National Association of Realtors stated in an announcement today. "Given the general tight inventory of homes available for sale across the country, rebuilding in the region of the Gulf Coast will place additional pressure on overall home prices," said David Lereah, chief economist for the association. "As displaced residents try to get back on their feet in new locations, home sales have spiked – along with rental demand – in regions surrounding the disaster zone." Lereah also said shortages of building materials, made worse by the need to rebuild in areas hit by Katrina, will increase construction costs. Association president Al Mansell is meeting with Realtors and member associations in the Gulf Coast region this week to present relief checks and to assess long-term consequences of the disaster. According to the trade group announcement, it is estimated that most of th...