Colorado Association of REALTORS | New Report Shows US Housing Supply Falls Far Short of What is Needed
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New Report Shows US Housing Supply Falls Far Short of What is Needed

Jun 25 2019

New Report Shows US Housing Supply Falls Far Short of What is Needed

Although household growth is returning to a more normal pace, our new State of the Nation’s Housing report shows that housing production still falls short of what is needed, which is keeping pressure on house prices and rents and eroding affordability. While demographic trends alone should support a vibrant housing market over the coming decade, realizing this potential depends heavily on whether the market can provide a broader and more affordable range of housing options for tomorrow’s households.


Below are a few key findings about Colorado as described in The State of the Nation’s Housing 2019 Report.


  • There have been notable reductions in homelessness over the past decade. According to HUD’s annual point-in-time counts, the number of people experiencing homelessness fell by 87,000 from 2008 to 2018 and by some 38,000 in the last five of those years. This progress reflects an expansion of permanent supportive housing and the widespread adoption of the “housing first” model that provides housing without preconditions for changes in behavior. The improvements have been most evident among populations that have received targeted efforts and resources—veterans, families, and the chronically homeless. Colorado is up more than 100 percent, to 4,300.


  • A look at new construction in the nation’s 50 largest markets in 2007–2017 provides some general insights about which markets have seen the biggest gap between demand and new supply. When measured by the ratio of housing permits to household growth, construction has lagged the most in Western metros and the least in Southern metros, even though production in both regions is near long-term averages. In eight of the 50 metros, the growth in households exceeded the number of housing permits. Denver had only 97 permits issued for every 100 net new households making that list.


  • Residential land values climbed in 80 percent of counties across the country, with the largest increases concentrated in the West. Of the 46 states where land values per acre rose over this period, the second largest increase was Colorado with an increase of 96 percent.


  • According to the American Community Survey, 7.5 million people made interstate moves in 2017, slightly higher than the 7.2 million annual average from 2010–2017. The number of households making those interstate moves totaled 2.5 million, also slightly above recent annual averages. Like international immigration, domestic migration can contribute significantly to household growth in certain markets. Indeed, on average, interstate migrants accounted for at least half of household growth in six of the nation’s ten highest-growth states in 2010–2017, with shares reaching as high as 63 percent in Colorado and 82 percent in Arizona.


For the full report, additional maps, and resources, please visit the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University by clicking here.

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