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Fall in Homeownership; Rise in New Construction of Single-Family Homes 

Harvard University released its annual housing report "The State of the Nation's Housing" late last month. The executive summary provides the following snapshot:

  • Construction is Gaining Momentum: Single-family housing starts rose to 715,000 in 2015, a 10.5% increase; Multifamily starts were at a 27-year high of 397,300, up 11.8 percent.
  • Rental Housing Remains in High Demand: 36.4% of US households opting to rent in 2015— the largest share since the late 1960s
  • Home Sales are Strengthening: New home sales rose 14.6% to 501,000 in 2015 while existing home sales increased 6.3% to 5.3 million.
  • Household Growth is on the Rise: From 653,000 in 2013 to 1.0 million in 2014 and then to 1.3 million in 2015—marking the largest single-year increase in a decade
  • National homeownership rate fell by more than 5 percentage points from the 69.0 percent peak in 2004, to just 63.7% in 2015.