Multifamily Developers to Plug Some Holes in the Housing Shortage in 2022
Updated: Jan 14
Swell in homebuying inflames shortfall. In late 2021, the single-family housing landscape mirrored the conditions witnessed earlier in the year. For-sale inventory of both existing homes and finalized new homes trailed historical averages. Meanwhile, the desire for residences remains very strong, which continues to reinforce the imbalance between supply and demand. In November, purchases of existing homes climbed to the highest level since January of 2021, but the buying activity compressed listed inventory of these dwellings to the lowest count in five months. This combination resulted in the the median sale price moving up for the eighteenth straight month, to $367,250.
More rentals are needed to ease the imbalance. Builders of single-family homes are trying to ramp up the construction pace to meet strong demand but face barriers amid inflated material costs and labor shortages. Multifamily developers grapple with the same challenges but have been more productive in bolstering the 2022 pipeline. In November, multifamily housing starts grew to the highest volume since February 2020 and were up 37 percent year over year, while single-family starts were roughly flat on an annual basis. This indicates that the multifamily segment will help fill some critical gaps in the housing shortage this year. The large pipeline will likely not retract from the very positive multifamily momentum witnessed in recent quarters.
Multifamily pipeline aligns with pockets of robust demand. Nationally, the U.S. is expected to add roughly 400,000 new rentals in 2022, a monumental number that is a record spanning back multiple decades. Digging deeper, about one-fourth of those deliveries will be in just six markets across the Sun Belt, where rapid in-migration supports the increase in new supply. Dallas-Fort Worth, Phoenix, Austin, Houston, Nashville and Atlanta are each expected to add more than 10,000 units in 2022. These six metros are also projected to add a combined 250,000 new households this year. The overall multifamily construction figure is lofty, but development correlates with demand and the new supply will play a key role in appeasing the housing shortage in 2022.
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