How well has housing production kept up with increases in the demand for housing?
Weave together the relevant data points
The data points can be woven together into a single narrative to show the adequacy of the supply response over time to increases in the demand for housing in your jurisdiction. The narrative can be illustrated by visualizing indicators of increased demand for housing and comparing those changes with the rate of growth of the housing stock. Further comparisons can benchmark the local changes to those in the nation as a whole, the rest of the region, or other near-by jurisdictions.
Prototypical presentation: a New York City example
The following example shows how data points can be displayed and woven together to show the adequacy of the supply response over time to increases in the demand for housing in New York City.
You can learn how to replicate these same visualizations using data for your locality by clicking on the relevant visualization or by using the navigation column on the left to go the Visualization landing page where you will find a directory for all of the visualizations.
The rate of growth of New York City’s housing stock has fallen short of increases in demand
While employment increased by 18 percent between 2006 and 2016, the housing stock increased by only 4.6 percent. Similarly, the growth of the adult population at 7.5 percent exceeded that of housing units. (?A footnote/bubble here as well?: By definition, the number of households can only increase faster than the number of housing units if the vacancy rate falls and/or homelessness increases, neither of which changed significantly over this period.)
FOOTNOTE: The index start date (the year that the index is set to 100) is critical to being able to compare growth rates. Possible choices for the index start date might be a recent time when housing production faltered, e.g., at the time of the Great Recession, or when rents and housing prices began to climb strongly.
The rental market has remained tight as indicated by a vacancy rate that averaged only 3.7 percent between 2006 and 2016, well below national levels and bordering on levels minimally possible given normal rates of unit turnover.
Not surprising, therefore, despite the growth in the number of housing units, the number of severely crowded renter households (renter households with more than 1.5 persons per room) also grew citywide from 2006 to 2016 by over 45 percent, from about 67,500 to 98,000 households, even as the stock of housing grew, consistent with a continuing shortfall in the number of housing units needed to meet the increased demand.