The West’s housing crunch began over a decade ago. Here’s why
As Western states, including Utah, Idaho, Arizona and Nevada, cap off two years of record-breaking home sales and price increases, it’s important to note the West’s housing crunch began long before the COVID-19 pandemic threw the national housing market into upheaval.
That’s because the entire U.S. — and especially burgeoning Western states — has been facing a housing shortage for over a decade now after homebuilding contracted in 2009 amid the Great Recession.
“The housing market has been struggling to keep up with demand since the 2010s, when the number of new homes built was slashed in half compared with the previous decade,” Forbes wrote. “As the demand for residential real estate has increased, the scarcity of homes for sale has created a logjam on the supply side.”
- The U.S. is now short 5.24 million homes, according to recent research by Realtor.com. That gap between single-family home constructions and household formations is up from a shortage of 3.84 million homes at the beginning of 2019.
- Homebuilding hasn’t kept pace with population growth. In 2020 and the first half of 2021, the U.S. saw 2.1 million household formations, resulting in a total of 12.3 million household formations between 2012 and June 2021, according to Realtor.com. In that time period, only 7 million single-family homes were built and completed.
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