Housing starts in Iowa dipped dramatically last month according to the latest statistics. State economist Harvey Siegelman says there was a 20 percent dip in the number of housing permits requested in July, but year-to-date numbers indicate construction for new housing in Iowa is up five percent from last year. Siegelman says the construction industry has been dealing with a shortage of dry wall — and a shortage of skilled workers. He says that can slow construction in one month and push it into another until more supplies are available. Siegelman says there’s still a need for new houses in Iowa as Iowa’s playing catch-up now to recover from the home construction slow-down of the 1980s.Siegelman tracks permits for new houses, apartments, condos and townhouses in the state’s 49 largest communities.
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