The annual State of the Nation’s Housing 2019 report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies shows that while household formation has reached a normal pace, housing supply is still strained. This is consistent with the Bright MLS network, where listings are down by approximately 30% from the peak recorded in 2014. Since 2011, US housing stock has grown at an average rate of 10%. Last year’s total completions and placements totaled only 1.2 million units, the lowest annual production, excluding 2008–2018, since 1982. Multifamily construction starts last year rose by 5.6% percent to 374,100 units.
Household growth has been slow to bounce back but the report predicts that an additional 400,000 renter households will be added between 2018 and 2028. Meanwhile, inexpensive rentals have been disappearing from the marketplace. Rents were up by 3.6% for 2018 and are on the rise in 2019. It’s encouraging to see that homeownership is on the rise, coming in at 64.4% last year. Price-to-income ratios are at peak levels in many markets. View the full report.