Goal of owning home still strong, and 8 other housing trends

WASHINGTON — Americans still want to own homes — if they can afford to. That’s the finding of a report being released Wednesday by the Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies.

The pressures of student debt, rising rents and the leftover wreckage from the nearly decade-old housing bust have restrained people’s ability to buy, even though the dream remains alive. The report sees reasons for both optimism (more millennials are poised to leave the nest) and concern (rising numbers of renters face extreme costs).

Those factors could determine whether the share of Americans who are renting keeps rising or whether the nation’s home ownership rate can rebound from a near 48-year low of 63.5 percent.

Here are eight other major trends documented in the report:

MORE HOUSEHOLD FORMATION

Americans formed 1.3 million new households in 2015, a return to normal pace of growth. Household formation had floundered during the Great Recession and amounted to a paltry 653,000 in 2013. Much of last year’s increase reflected an aging population in which more households consist of adults older than 65. But the Harvard analysis says the increase in households should continue because of the influx of millennials, which it defines as those born between 1985 and 2004.

During the recession and the sluggish recovery, many millennials returned to their childhood homes or lived with roommates, a trend that limited household formation. But as the largest generation in U.S. history, millennials are reaching an age when more of them will move out on their own. Millennial household formation is expected to average more than 2 million annually over the next several years, a surge that will likely further raise demand for rental units.

LARGER HOUSES, SMALLER APARTMENTS

Some people might love those tiny houses built on tractor trailers. But most yearn for extra space. The median size of a newly built single-family house was a record-setting 2,467 square feet last year. By contrast, the median unit in a new multifamily building has shrunk to 1,074 square feet from a peak of nearly 1,200 square feet in 2007. This decline likely reflects a shift in multifamily buildings away from condominiums toward rental apartments.

HOME BUILDING UP BUT STILL LOW

Homebuilders broke ground on 1.1 million properties last year, a healthy 10.8 percent annual increase from the depths of the recession. The problem is that figure still ranks among the worst years in the past half century. “In the long sweep of time, it’s still a pretty small number,” said Chris Herbert, managing director at the Harvard center.

Before 2016, apartment buildings, more than single-family houses, drove much of the increase in construction. But even as developers are stepping up single-family construction, they’re focused less on increasing the number of homes and more on catering to a smaller pool of affluent buyers who can generate more profit per house.

HIGH RENT

The government considers renters who spend more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing to be “cost-burdened.” Renters who spend more than 50 percent are considered “severely” burdened. The number of renter households that pay at least half their income reached a record 11.4 million in 2014, rising by 2.1 million from 2008 even as the economy began pulling out of the recession.

POOR DWELLERS CAN’T AFFORD FOOD

Compared with those who can find affordable housing, the poorest 25 percent of cost-burdened households spend on average 41 percent less each month on food. These same people also spend less on health care, not to mention retirement savings.

HOUSING AID ELUDES THE NEEDIEST

Just one fourth of income-eligible renters receive any kind of public assistance. The shortfall is the result of inadequate government support, Herbert said. It’s true that the government can cut its housing expenditures by limiting its financial aid. But when people can’t afford rent, it creates an unstable situation where evictions become more common.

Housing instability can often increase people’s dependence on other social programs that raise costs for taxpayers in the long haul, Herbert said. It becomes harder to keep a job or learn in school when shelter is a constant uncertainty and increases dependence on other forms of welfare, he said.

“We can spend a little now, and in the end it’s going to create people who are much more financially stable on their own,” Herbert said.

CLUSTERS OF THE POOR

Between 2000 and 2014, the population in neighborhoods with poverty rates of at least 40 percent more than doubled to 13.7 million. That poverty overlaps with racial segregation. About 25 percent of poor blacks and 18 percent of poor Hispanics live in these high-poverty neighborhoods, compared with only 6 percent of whites.

AGING CONSTRUCTION WORKERS

The layoffs after the housing bust left builders with older construction crews. The share of building trades workers older than 55 rose to 16 percent from 10 percent in 2007. Just 13 percent of newly hired construction workers were under 25. Vocational training and immigration could help ease the coming labor shortage as older workers retire. So could opening up the industry to women, who make up less than 3 percent of construction workers.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like