NAR identifies metro areas with the highest deficit in home construction, as well as those areas where the housing supply appears to be sufficient to meet the demands of home buyers. The Monthly Housing Shortage Tracker is an index, which compares how many permits are issued relative to the number of new jobs. The higher the index the greater the housing shortage since it shows that more jobs have been created relative to the number of new homes constructed. Based on the historical average, two permits are issued for every new job. However, the highest value for the index in August was 14.8 in the New York metro area. This means that for every 15 new jobs a single-family unit is permitted. In contrast, a single-family unit is permitted for every new job in the Houston metro area.
The “usual suspects” are at the top of the list. It is noteworthy that, among the top ten metro areas with the most severe housing shortage, seven are located in California.
The visualization below allows you to see how many permits are issued for every new job for 178 metro areas. Click on a metro area on the map and see the number of permits issued and new jobs created in the last three years.
Comparison to a Year Earlier
Compared to a year earlier, the index dropped in more than 70 percent of metro areas including areas with serious housing supply issues. A lower index means that more single-family permits are issued per new job than a year earlier. However, more single-family permits does not necessarily result in a lower index value. For instance, single-family permit issuance increased in Salinas, CA from 738 units (Jun/2014-Jun/2017) to 802 units (Jun/2015-Jun/2018). Nevertheless, the index increased because job creation was stronger than the issuance of single-family permits.
The average index dropped from 4.0 to 3.5 in August 2018. For instance, New York had the highest value for the index in August 2018 at 14.8. However, the index was even higher at 17.0 a year earlier. Thus, while a single-family permit was issued for every 17 new jobs in 2017, a single-family permit has been issued for every 15 new jobs in 2018. Currently, a single-family permit is issued for every 13 new jobs in the San Jose metro area in 2018 compared to 15 new jobs in 2017.
The visualization below shows whether housing supply conditions are improving or not. In the blue areas the index dropped (improving housing supply conditions) while in the orange areas the index increased (tighter housing supply) compared to last year.
The average was calculated based on the indices of these 178 metro areas.