The National Association of Home Builders just released a study  on the impact of Katrina in the housing market. More than 200,000 homes in New Orleans alone were wiped out.
The building industry is already experiencing the effects of Katrina due to the loss of a number of lumber mills in the south  Building material costs were already rising due to the strong housing markets across the country. Real demand for materials hasn’t peaked yet since clean up has not yet occurred.  Building supplies aren’t expected to see the same magnitude of price increases because the supplies are not shipped through the Gulf.
The prices of local building supplies in the Alabama are already increasing.  Building labor is expected to rise as well.
“Ken Tennefoss, publisher of Crow Publications, which produces a number of lumber-product-related reports, said the industry is better prepared to provide materials than it has been in the past because of the bigger customer base created by stores such as Home Depot and Lowe’s.”