In an August inFocus on the housing market, we wrote about some ways in which the buying public have re-prioritized what they value while also dealing with different financial realities.


The following are some recent facts and events that begin to illustrate the new reality of housing- that the majority of new construction will be multi-family, smaller and in cities.


New American Lifestyles

  • There are two million  more adults ages 18-34 living under their parents roof last year than four years ago.
  • 80 percent of units now have one bedroom. In the past, 60 percent had two bedrooms
  • New units are as small as 500 square feet in Houston, even smaller in San Francisco and New York City.
  • Married couples with children make up under one in four households today
  • Between 2010 and 2011, 86.5 percent of small metro areas saw an increase in the number of people living in the city.
  • Cities in the smallest metro areas (150,000-250,000 people) saw the largest increase in people within their boundaries.
  • Cities in small metro areas grew in population by 0.89 percent outpacing suburb growth by 0.67 percent.
  • Small metro cities are seeing more growth then big cities. 55 percent of cities in small metro areas grew at a faster rate than their suburban counterparts between 2010 and 2011. 51 percent of cities in large metro areas added population at a greater rate than their suburbs.
  • The nation added more than 2 million households in the 12 months that ended March 31 about triple the average for the previous four years. Most of the gains came from baby boomers. – divorce?
  • The number of people ages 25-29 who moved across state lines reached its highest level in 13 years


Multifamily housing

  • Multifamily construction is two-thirds of the way back to prerecession peak.
  • New apartment complexes are going up at fastest rate since July 2008
  • In Houston, from January to September, construction permits for multifamily housing increased by more than 70 percent over the year earlier.


Single family housing

  • Single fam construction is one-third back to peak
  • Houston permits for single family increased 25 percent from Jan to Sept.


Economy and General Housing

  • Net worth increase by $1.7 trillion in Q3
  • Households got $301 billion bump in value of real estate assets
  • Case-Schiller 20 home index has risen month over month for 6 months with four consecutive monthly year over year gains.
  • Jobless rate of those ages 25-34 dropped from 9 percent at start of the year to 7.9 in November
  • There have been 559,000 home seizures in 2012. The Fed Reserve Bank of NY had estimated as many as 1.8 million properties would be taken back this year.   Foreclosures are at a five year low.
  • Foreclosures and short sales made up 24 percent of October sales. The same level as September but down 28 percent from a year earlier.
  • There were 2.14 million existing homes for sale in October, down 1.4 percent from September. That translates to a 5.4 month supply at the current sales rate, the lowest level since February 2006.
  • The number of residential properties for sale in the U.S. shrank to the lowest level in a decade. Prices have appreciated in the fastest pace since 2005.
  • Median price of an existing home sold in October jumped 11 percent from a year earlier, steepest annual increase since November 2005.
  • Almost a quarter of all US homeowners with a mortgage are underwater
  • Fed reserve is buying $40 billion in mortgages every month which is keeping rates low.


General home building

  • Pace of home building rose to its highest level in more than four years in October. U.S. builders increased their spending on construction projects in October by the largest amount in 5 months. Level of spending is still considered low.
  • Builder confidence in the housing market rose for the 8th straight month in December to its highest point in more than six years. Sentiment reading of 47, means more builders have a negative outlook than a positive one





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