Monday, March 20, 2023

Less single homes, but a lot more multiplexes in America.

New housing numbers had a big jump in starts, but that's not necessarily what grabbed my eye. February housing and construction data should generally give you pause, since seasonal adjustments are at their highest around that time of year.

But is clear that there has been a shift in the type of homes being constructed in the last year. Since February 2022, the amount of single-unit houses that have been completed have generally drifted downward, but projects with 5 or more housing units has jumped by 72% in the last 12 months listed, driving an overall increase in new units being finished.

And it looks like the same story in the future, as the number of units currently under construction are trending even more toward multi-unit complexes.

It’s worthy to ask what that means for the housing market now and in the near future. It’s already difficult for many Americans to find and/or afford housing after a huge runup in prices in the early 2020s combined with the rise in interest rates that started last year. But if there isn’t a huge amount of inventory coming on of single-family homes, would that limit the price decline that has already started in some markets?

Also, does the trend to large amounts of multi-unit construction mean that renting can come back to being more affordable? Or at least start dominoes where previously-built units become more available as new units come around? God knows a lot of people would welcome that, as this guy’s 2010 candidacy has proven well ahead of its time.

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