When NAHB’s Home Building Geography Index (HBGI) was introduced, it allocated county single- and multifamily permits into seven regions based on population densities. These regions are representative of different types of housing markets in the United States. New work in this post offers a per capita analysis of the HBGI regionals, which corroborates earlier findings of market share and growth rate trends1.
First note that outlying areas of both large and smaller metropolitan areas rank above their closer-in metro counterparts in per-capita single-family housing construction. These outlying areas have smaller population and a greater intensity of home building. For example, in the second quarter of 2019, the region with largest per capita level of single-family construction was outlying areas of large metros (exurbs), with 14 single-family permits per 10,000 people (measured on a quarterly not an annual basis).
The data also show year-over-year declines in single-family permits per 10,000 residents in all regions since this time last year, i.e., the end of the second quarter of 2018, except in non-metro/micro counties (rural areas). In contrast, apartment construction has experienced an uptick in more affordable areas further out from core counties of large and smaller metropolitan areas, consistent with expectations of late business cycle growth.
- Populations are based on county-level data from the 2016 5-year American Community Survey