UPDATED – OCTOBER 26, 2022 – I have added some data regarding the number of vacant housing units in America at the bottom of this post.
OCTOBER 24, 2022 – There, I said it. Made it 100% clear for everyone to understand. I might be the lone voice saying this for the past 5-10+ years. So be it.
Population growth in this country has been slowing for the entire 21st Century. It will continue to slow. NAR, Homebuilders, and the Fake News Media can tell you that we have a housing shortage. That is what they must tell you so they can keep making their money – at the expense of John Q. Public.
There are over 1.7 million housing units under construction. That is almost a 50-year high (yes, 50 years ago we had a much smaller population). More importantly, in the housing crisis 15 years ago, we peaked at only 1.4 million housing units. We have more housing being built today with a much slower growing population.
In the 1970’s, when Baby Boomers were at the age to buy homes in mass, that population segment grew at a 4.5% annual pace. Millennials of the same population segment today are growing at only a 1.2% annual rate! That is almost a 75% reduction in the demand for housing! Adjusting for a 56% increase in population since 1972, this is still a 58% reduction in the demand for housing!!!
I would guess if we didn’t build a single housing unit for 5+ years we would still have vacant houses and apartments all over this country. Instead of building new shoddy manufactured houses, let’s focus on rehabbing the well-built housing of decades ago. Most of this product is in existing built-up areas with infrastructure in place. Take advantage of that.
One day when people start to admit we have had an oversupply of housing for over a decade, please remember The Mann told them so:)
ADDED OCTOBER 26, 2022 – I was wondering how many vacant units we have in America. So, some quick research found the following. Sources obviously can vary in their figures.
We have 142 million housing units in America. The number of apartment units is estimated to be 21.3 million. We can assume the remainder are houses – 121.7 million.
National apartment vacancy is reported to be 6%. This indicates 1.3 million vacant units. As of 2020, the home vacancy rate was 9.7%. This indicates 11.8 million vacant units. The sum is 13.1 million vacant housing units in America.
As I noted in the original part of the post above, we could go several years without building a single house or apartment complex and we would still have many millions of vacant units.
One last tidbit of information to consider. I once worked with an economist that assumed every year 1% of existing real estate (housing, office, retail, industrial, etc.) became obsolete and/or was demolished. At 142 million housing units, that would mean 1.4 million units are taken off the market each year. That helps provide some constant need for new housing. Again, this is an assumption. It seems like an awful lot of houses and apartments being abandoned or demolished every year. But, …
That is all I have for now.