According to NAHB analysis of the most recent Census data of Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design, townhouse construction starts continue to post gains.
Over the last four quarters ending with the third quarter of 2017, townhouse starts totaled 98,000, 4% higher than the four quarters prior. Townhouses, or single-family attached housing, represented 26,000 starts during the third quarter of 2017, 18% higher than the total during the third quarter of 2016.
Using a one-year moving average, the market share of new townhouses stands at 11.8% of all single-family starts. After a soft patch, the market share is rising again.
The peak market share of the last two decades for townhouse construction was set during the first quarter of 2008, when the share reached 14.6% of total single-family construction. This high point was set after a fairly consistent increase in the share beginning in the early 1990s.
Despite the drop in market share during the Great Recession, the share for townhouse construction is expected to increase in coming years – with occasional ups and downs. The long-run prospects for townhouse construction are positive given large numbers of homebuyers looking for medium density residential neighborhoods, such as urban villages that offer walkable environments and other amenities.