What home buyers pay for union labor

The Tribune is reporting on a developing trend among major home builders to switch from union to non-union labor.

One builder who has made the switch reports that he “has seen his home-building costs drop from $70 a square foot during the height of the building boom to almost $40 a square foot.”

That cost drop is presumably attributable to a number of factors beyond moving away from union labor, including contractors bidding more aggressively for a limited amount of work.

If half the cost-saving is due to using non-union as opposed to union labor, that translates to $30,000 in savings on a 2,000 square foot home. In a tight market, most of those savings will be passed on to new home buyers – putting further downward pressure on resale prices.

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