Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Some Perspective on Housing

Washington Post puts some perspective on the new housing data:

Builders broke ground on a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685,000 homes in November, a 9.3 percent jump from October, the government said Tuesday. It’s the highest level since April 2010.

Still, the rate is far below the 1.2 million homes that economists say would be built each year in a healthy housing market.

Construction of single-family homes rose 2.3 percent in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 447,000. Apartment construction jumped 32 percent to a rate of 238,000 units. Single-family homes account for about 70 percent of homebuilding.
The chart below shows the increase in 5+ unit buildings (i.e. apartments) and the continued struggle in single family homes (November 2011 was actually below the level seen in November 2010).

Source: Census


  1. Visual evidence of the death of the ARM financed mcmansion. But, the multi-family condo embryo is showing showing signs of life. Expect the two to cross?

    FWIW, my opinion is that the boomers retire in newly built multifamily apts in suburbs in their home town. Stay close to the grandkids and friends, either puke the house or will it to the millenials...


  2. It would be interesting is you could take the time series back far enough to account for the rise of the Boomer generation. My guess is that if it were at all possible to normalize the data for their outsize impact we might see a far lower number of new home starts than what economists predict would occur in a "healthy market".

  3. I have never been a big fan of the real estate business. Im more into stocks than real estate. But this is one time that I will make an exception to the rule. Housing prices have declined so much in certain areas especially the southwest. I can't look upon buying a house or condo as unwise.