If you're planning a big expansion, there's a question you may want to ask yourself before picking a location: Is there enough housing for any staff you bring to this new town?
With home prices high, interest rates up and the supply of homes available on the market dwindling – or at best stagnant — access to housing may play a bigger part in future decisions.
Consider this as an example from a story via our sister publication Crain's Grand Rapids Business on electric vehicle battery maker LG Energy Solution on whether to place its North American headquarters in Holland, Mich., where it is expanding operations. LG officials said a lack of housing options in the town of about 35,000 has challenged hiring efforts, with some engineers renting out hotels because they can't find homes in the area.
"I think there is some good work being done in housing, but it continues to be a crisis for us," said Jennifer Owens, president of the economic development group Lakeshore Advantage. "How are we going to continue to help our companies grow if people [who work there] are living farther and farther away because they can't find an affordable place?"
The website Recruitonomics.com wrote in 2022 that the U.S. was short some 3.8 million housing units before COVID-19. It's only gotten worse since then.
"As home prices skyrocket, it gets harder to hire," Sam Kuhn wrote for Recruitonomics. "When teachers, firefighters and nurses are struggling to find affordable places to live, it creates upward pressure on salaries. This is the true impact on hiring, as workers will demand more money to compensate for their higher cost of living."