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By Robert Johnson, CFA | 06-17-2014 01:00 PM

Trends Looking Good for Housing

Many factors have contributed to the strong rise in multifamily housing starts, and now single-family homes are getting a boost as we move further past the recession.

Bob Johnson: This week's chart is about housing starts, and we've shown two different types of housing starts: that for multifamily projects--that is general high-rise buildings and apartments--and single-family homes.

As you can see in the chart, single-family homes absolutely collapsed in 2008 and now have come back slightly in the 600,000 range, down from 1.8 million. Multifamily homes, on the other hand, are in about the 400,000 range and recovered everything they lost in the recession and then some as people flowed toward those type of homes because of the lower price points, the ability to be closer to the city, less of a need to drive, and less of a need for maintenance as the workforce ages. All of those things are driving people toward the multifamily homes, and we're now back to where we were before.

And I think the trends going forward will continue with multifamily being relatively strong for all the benefits I mentioned, but I do think single-family homes will get better as more and more young people begin to afford a home and have a family, which they may have put off during the recession. So, I do expect further improvement in single-family housing in the years ahead.

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