|by Chris Herbert|
Much of the attention on housing market woes has focused on the supply side. Certainly, as the housing bubble was bursting at the end of 2006 the excess supply of housing was a significant contributor. As of that time, the U.S. had added more new homes over the previous 10 year period than at any other point going back to the early 1970s when record keeping for housing completions and mobile home placements began. But after five straight years of housing starts below 1 million units a year—a level last seen in 1945 when World War II was ending—it is hard to argue that the housing market is still suffering the after effects of overbuilding. In fact, by the end of 2011 the total amount of new housing put in place over the previous 10 years was the lowest since record keeping began.
Note: Available data go back to 1974. Source: JCHS calculations of US Census Bureau data
Note: 2012 is an estimate of annual average growth based on trends through the third quarter of 2012. JCHS low projection assumes that immigration in 2010-20 is half that in the US Census Bureau’s 2008 middle-series (preferred) population projection. Sources: US Census Bureau, Housing Vacancy Survey; JCHS 2010 household growth projections