America Will Need More Homes

I don’t see a ton of reasons to be super-optimistic about the economy, but one thing I can see is that America has started to look a lot like a country that will want to build more houses soon:

From 1959 to 2009, the number of new starts never drops below 800,000. Then it does, and it stays at an unprecedentedly low number for two years. And yet, babies are still born. Immigrants still arrive. You don’t even need to believe that this figure is going to reach the long-term average level in order to see an uptick in construction employment in our future; you just need to believe that it’ll become somewhat less below-average. If the issue is that households can’t get the loans they would need to purchase these hypothetical new homes, then the answer is that we need more rental housing.