Arizona’s housing deficit has increased 1,377% since 2012 – representing 122,683 homes – according to a report by Washington, D.C.-based Up for Growth. Arizona didn’t have a housing deficit issue in 2012, but explosive growth and below par construction starts have created the shortage. Challenges to residential construction in Arizona include a shortage of skilled labor and slow housing permit approval processes. Construction costs, including material and labor costs, have also increased dramatically in the last few years, making it difficult for developers to develop affordable product. Nationally, the National Assoc. of Realtors says there is a 5.5 million newly built home shortage.