RISI VIEWPOINT: Census figures suggest household formations are rebounding strongly, so why is housing slowing?

By Jennifer Coskren, Senior Economist, Wood Products

The US Census recently released its third quarter 2018 estimates of housing inventory, which indicate a housing market that is still exceedingly tight. Shelter vacancy rates were down in the quarter, and the Census data show that the number of vacant units for sale and for rent has dropped and, in the case of the rental market, is well below historical averages (Figure 1). The Census estimates of household formations is even more robust, with the growth occurring mostly on the owner-occupied side. In the third quarter of 2018, owner-occupied households grew by 1.9 ...

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