U.S. New Home Construction Expected to Fall 300,000 Units Short of Demand This Year, More Pressure for Home-starved Markets Like Denver

U.S. New Home Construction Expected to Fall 300,000 Units Short of Demand This Year, More Pressure for Home-starved Markets Like Denver

Source: Joe Rubino of the Denver Post

U.S. new home construction expected to fall 300,000 units short of demand this year, more pressure for home-starved markets like Denver

The National Association of Home Builders forecast new construction at 909,000 homes in the U.S. — a whopping 300,000 homes short of their projected demand, based on data gathered from Redfin. In Denver, median home prices have been hovering around $500K, with homes still flying off the market soon after being listed. Labeling Denver as a “seller’s market” in today’s environment is quite the understatement.

The biggest factors behind the housing shortage:
Lumbar costs

The cost of lumbar has risen 62% since the start of last year. Why? Tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber have driven the costs of new construction up by roughly $9,000.

Local Regulations

Another factor behind the supply/demand gap are local regulations, such as the banning of slot-homes in Denver. These types of structures previously allowed developers to maximize the number of units on a lot by turning them sideways. 

Migration

People, especially Millennials, love Denver. And they’re coming here in droves. Although there are signs that Denver’s popularity is waning, is it enough to ease the demand and close the gap in the housing shortage?

In the meantime, developers are focusing on attached developments, namely town homes. Last August in Denver, around 30% of new residential construction on the market were attached homes. With a changing demographic, economic, and regulatory environment in Denver, it appears that town homes and new urbanism will increasingly become the norm.

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