A red-blue divide on home construction


Nearly two-thirds of multifamily construction in the fourth quarter of 2019 occurred in “blue counties” where Hillary Clinton garnered the most votes in the 2016 election, while nearly the same percentage of single-family home building took place in “red counties” where President Trump won. And momentum for continued single-family and multifamily construction continues in the red counties, according to the latest quarterly NAHB Home Building Geography Index (HBGI).

The fourth quarter release of the HBGI examines all the counties in the United States based on the 2016 presidential candidate vote totals and sheds new light on red/blue county home building conditions.

Using fourth quarter permit data, NAHB’s HBGI finds:

  • 51% of the U.S. population live in blue counties and 49 percent live in red counties;
  • 61% of single-family construction occurs in red counties;
  • 64% of multifamily construction is found in blue counties;
  • Over the course of 2019, single-family construction expanded at a 1.7% average rate in red counties, while declining 1.2% in blue counties; and
  • Multifamily construction posted much faster growth rates in red counties vs. blue (21% vs. 8% gain).


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