Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Study shows conflicting stats on U.S. population and # of households

I came across this article via Planetizen.  The crux of the article: From 2005 - 2008, the U.S. population grew 3.4 million in the largest 80 metropolitian areas of the country.  Yet, during the same time, the amount of U.S. households dropped 1.2 million.  These numers seem to indicate a conflict.  What is causing this shift?

The answer is no surprise: the recession.  Parents are children are staying in the same houses or moving back in together as income drops or homes become foreclosed.  As a result, there is a surplus of apartments and single-family homes on the market, contributing to a lack of demand and lower prices in the housing market.  The article also notes that there is a "strong tie between unemployment and household formation rates" - and since the recession hit younger employees harder, they were less likely to form their own household.  Last, the article noted that national homeownership has fallen to "just about 67%, from above 69%." 

The thing about the article that rang true to me was the real estate market.  We've seen home sales increasing in the Valley, but prices continue to drop - and I'm sure that a lack of demand has something to do with that price drop. 

Does anyone else have thoughts about this issue?

1 comment:

Jon Geeting said...

It seems to me that whereas US housing policy has largely been focused on pushing homeownership, that goal is no longer tenable for many people. We need a policy shift that recognizes the need for a stronger rental market. The first change is obvious - stop subsidizing homeownership.