By Jann Swanson | Mortgage News Daily
The Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) at Harvard University has released its latest report on the State of the Nation’s Housing. The report, is a snapshot of housing and housing issues.
By many measures, the report says, the national housing market has returned to normal. Home prices and sales are on the rise and measures of housing distress have retreated far from their recession era peaks. Construction is rising. Multi-family construction has been particularly strong; multi-family housing starts were the highest in 2015 and 2016 since 1987. Remodeling is strong and expected to remain so over the next decade as older Americans make their homes suitable for aging in place, Gen Xers make up for lost time during the recession by undertaking discretionary projects, and Millennials, once they settle into homeownership, update their homes for energy efficiency and invest in home automation.
The contribution housing services makes to the GDP has increased above its historic levels, but the contribution of residential fixed investment lags. The report expresses special concern on weak recover in single-family home building, which has not yet crossed the one-million-unit mark, a space it occupied the majority nearly continuously from 1971 until the housing crisis. That is just one of the downsides that the report also underlines.