Home Builders, Buyers Suffering from Shortage

Business at Coast Concrete has been pouring in since it opened three-and-a-half months ago.

But as the demand for cement rises, so has its price.

"The sales are increasing everyday with the building that's going on, it's not only us, that's had an increase in the cost...it's all the producers on the coast...the ready-mix producers. So, regardless of what a customer trades, they have to bear the new cost," said Sammy H. Ward of Coast Concrete.

Leaders with Coast Concrete say since August 1, the price of cement has gone up about five dollars a ton.

This, in turn, forces home builders, and eventually home buyers, to fork over more money for developments and homes.

The rising cost of other key building materials in the past year hasn't helped.

"Everything from lumber to steel, to insurance, to concrete. Everything is higher than it was from last year, from 10 to 15 percent," said John Ruble, president of the Gulf Coast Home Builders Association.

The rising cost of cement and other key building materials is affecting builders, home buyers, and people who want to buy homes for the first time.

"The single mother with two children living in an apartment complex can no longer afford to qualify for a home because the permits, insurance, all the things the things that the builder's having to pay, the price goes up, and she doesn't qualify, he or she doesn't qualify," Ruble said.

For now, all home builders, and potential home buyers, can do is hope for brighter days, and lower prices for building materials.