Portland-area builders say a looming shortage of shovel-ready lots could limit their ability to put new properties on the market.
Shortage has been good to the housing market, with low inventory of available homes driving up what buyers are willing to pay. But builders worry a shortage of lots could limit construction and raise construction costs, potentially damaging an industry just beginning to recover from the housing crash.
And getting raw land ready to build is a process that can take up to two years. There are engineering, environmental and traffic studies to conduct before the land can be divided into lots. Only then does the actual development -- clearing and leveling the land, building roads and installing utilities -- begin.
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