Top Metro Areas – Single-Family Detached Concentration

March 31, 2014

In a recent study, NAHB examines eight key housing statistics from the 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). This post takes a closer look at one of those statistics; the share of homeowners living in single-family detached housing.

The share of homeowners living in single-family detached housing is calculated by taking the total number of single-family detached units divided by the total number of owner-occupied units. The figure gives a snapshot of the housing stock for a specified geography.

The metropolitan area with the highest share of homeowners living in single-family detached housing is Wausau, WI with 96.2%. The national share of homeowners living in single-family detached housing is 82.3%.

With the exception of Modesto, CA, all of the metropolitan areas in the top ten are located in the Midwest. All metropolitan areas in the top ten have median home values below the national figure. The median value of owner-occupied housing units for the entire United States in 2012 was $171,900.

Figure_1a

Four of the ten areas with the lowest share of homeowners living in single-family detached housing are located in Florida. In general, metropolitan areas with low shares of homeowners living in single-family detached housing are also densely populated.

The metropolitan area with the lowest share of homeowners living in single-family detached housing is the New York-White Plains-Wayne (New York) metro division. The New York metro division is the most populous at nearly 12 million.

Figure_2a

 

  • The complete series is provided below.
  1. Eye on Housing – Top Ten Metro Areas – Owner Occupied Housing Units
  2. Eye on Housing – Top Ten Metro Areas – Homeownership Rate
  3. Eye on Housing – Top Ten Metro Areas – Vacancy Rates
  4. Eye on Housing – Top Ten Metro Areas – Single-Family Concentration
  5. Eye on Housing – Top Ten Metro Areas – Median Income and Home Value
  6. Eye on Housing – Top Ten Metro Areas – New Construction

Improving Markets at 101

April 4, 2012

The number of metropolitan markets on the NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) rose to 101 in April from 99 in March.  Markets on the list must have improved in the three critical indicators of employment, housing permits and home prices for six months or more. 

In April, 88 markets remained from the March list, 13 more were added and 11 markets dropped off.  Except for Syracuse NY, ten markets fell off the list because their relatively small house price gains that got them on the list fell below their respective prior troughs.  The average house price increase for the ten dropped markets was 0.4% compared to 3.2% for all others.  Syracuse’s housing permits fell below their previous low.

The index has continued to grow since inception in September 2011 although the past two months have shown very small growth, up one point from February to March and two points in April.  Economic and housing recovery will continue to improve but the path may not be steady as job growth slowly spreads to a wider variety of economic sectors. 

At 101, the total number of markets on the IMI is more than one-quarter of all metropolitan areas. 

As seen on the map below, the markets represented are spread across the US and include metro areas that suffered severe downturns, e.g., Detroit, and those that had much less pain, e.g. 11 Texas metros.  The primary point of the index is demonstration that markets are local and there is a wide difference in recovery speed and timing across the US.


Homeownership Rates Across All Metro Areas

March 12, 2012

For timely information on homeownership rates, the standard reference is the Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy Survey (HVS), which releases information for the U.S. on a quarterly basis.  On an annual basis, the HVS also provides homeownership rates for the 75 largest metropolitan areas.  This information can be quite useful, but smaller areas may have particularly high homeownership rates or otherwise be of interest.

Also, the metropolitan areas in the HVS are entire Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), which can obscure important differences within some of the larger metros.  The New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island MSA, for example, covers the five boroughs of New York City, all of Long Island, extends well into New Jersey, and even includes a county in Pennsylvania.  An area this large may easily have significant sub-areas with different homeownership rates.

For less timely data but more geographic detail, the standard source is the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS).  In a recent study, NAHB used the latest (2010) ACS data to calculate homeownership rates for all MSAs in the country, breaking the eleven largest their component divisions (the government’s classification scheme often splits MSAs with a population of at least 2.5 million into “Metropolitan Divisions”).  The ten metros with the highest homeownership rates are shown below.  Palm Coast, Florida tops the list with a homeownership rate of 81.5%.

Most of the ten high-homeownership areas are relatively small in terms of population—eight have a population of under 100,000.  Most also have relatively moderate home prices— eight have a median home value of less than $175,000.  Nassau-Suffolk, New York stands out as an area that combines a relatively high rate of homeownership with a population of over 900,000 and a median home value of over $400,000.

Nassau-Suffolk is a Metropolitan Division within the larger The New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island MSA.  An adjacent Division in the same MSA ( New York-White Plains-Wayne Division) has the lowest homeownership rate of any metro in the country—39.5%.

Homeownership is only one of many possible statistics that may be used to evaluate a local housing market.  The NAHB study also shows the number of owner-occupied housing units; home owner vacancy rate; share of single-family detached homes; value of homes owned; home owner incomes; growth in stock of single-family detached homes; and share of homes built recently for each of 384 metro areas, all available in a single spreadsheet.


Metro Area New Home Prices

February 8, 2012

The U.S. Census Bureau regularly tracks new home prices for the United States, Census Regions and Divisions. However, there is no systematic measurement of new home prices by states or metropolitan areas. To fill the void, NAHB Economics periodically estimates median new home prices for metropolitan areas. The most recent estimates show that median new home prices range from less than $110,000 in Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX to more than $845,000 in Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT (Table 1). The map below helps visualize the wide cross-country differences and reveals a familiar geographic pattern with most expensive new homes clustered in the coastal areas of California, Hawaii and the Northeast region.  The least expensive new homes are concentrated in Texas and the center of the United States.

To estimate median new home prices by metro NAHB Economics relies on data reported by the 2010 Census Bureau’s Building Permits Survey and Survey of Construction (SOC). The Permits Survey provides both the number and aggregate value of new housing units authorized by building permits and, thus, allows calculating average permit values for all metro areas. However, permit values do not include brokerage commissions, marketing/finance costs and may not include the cost of raw land. These additional costs are likely to differ across geographic areas but not available for metro areas. To account for these additional costs, NAHB Economics estimates ratios of median new home prices to average permit value for nine Census divisions available in the SOC and then uses the division-wide ratios to convert metro average permit values into median new home prices.


Improving Markets Index: Burlington, VT MSA

December 14, 2011

NAHB recently unveiled an index that tracks housing markets on the mend, the NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI).  The IMI is intended to draw attention to the fact that housing markets are local and that there are metropolitan areas where economic recovery is underway.  The index measures three readily available monthly data series that are independently collected and are indicative of improving economic health.  The three are employment, house prices and single family housing permit growth.

For the fourth release 41 markets are currently classified as improving under a conservative examination of local economic and housing market conditions.  Among these areas is the Burlington, Vermont metropolitan statistical area (MSA).

The health of the Burlington housing market is in part due to its position as a regional healthcare center, the large number of post-secondary educational institutions including the University of Vermont and St. Michael’s College and the steady stream of retirees who continue to find Burlington appealing.  However, local growth is primarily due to a the rise in software development, anchored by IBM and now Dealer.com, the increasing popularity of telecommuting, and the growing appeal of the local culture, which promotes energy efficiency, eating locally produced food, and generally being “green.”  According to home builder Chris Snyder of Snyder Homes, “new home buyers frequently want energy efficient features including solar panels, geothermal heating systems, passive solar designs and so on.  And it’s cheaper to build that way than retrofit an existing house. ” He went on to say that “many of these buyers pay cash or make large down payments and telecommute to jobs in New York City or Boston.”   As a result, education levels are rising in the area.    

Comparing educational and occupational data from the 2000 Census to the 2009 American Community Survey confirms these impacts.  Today there are 5,125 (or 37%) more service jobs than in 2000 and 3,213 (or 58%) more management jobs.  Reinforcing these findings, the number of people with a high school diploma increased from 35,529 to 36,716, individuals with some college rose from 21,251 to 22,006 and the number of people with an associate degree climbed from 11,338 to 13,119.  However, the number of individuals with a B.A skyrocketed from 27,512 to 32,418 and the number with professional degrees jumped from 16,713 to 18,711. -Emblematic of the changing workforce dynamics, employment in professional services grew by 28%, followed by employment in education which grew by 13%.   

According to Jose Leavitt of Otter Creek Awnings, Sunrooms and Custom Closets, “our house prices never rose like they did in many places and thus have not fallen either.  In part it is because the local economy is good and unemployment is low, and in part it it’s due to Yankee frugality and the fact that builders here are all very small and were able to quickly cut back on production.“  As a result, house prices have held up well over the past few years.  Prices are up 1.9% since the trough in January 2010 and are less than 5% off their high set in September 2007.     

Improving economic conditions have resulted in payroll employment being just 1,200 down from its peak in August 2011 and up by 5.1% since the trough in September 2009.  Single family permitting activity is up a robust 5.3% on a seasonally adjusted monthly average basis from the trough set in March 2011.  While new homes are being built in many parts of the Burlington MSA, activity has been primarily centered in the towns and villages surrounding Burlington including Hinesburg, Sherlock, Shelburne, South Burlington, Williston and Winooski.


Improving Markets Index: Monroe, LA MSA

December 8, 2011

NAHB recently unveiled an index that tracks housing markets on the mend, the NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI).  The IMI is intended to draw attention to the fact that housing markets are local and that there are metropolitan areas where economic recovery is underway.  The index measures three readily available monthly data series that are independently collected and are indicative of improving economic health.  The three are employment, house prices and single family housing permit growth.

For the fourth release  41 markets are currently classified as improving under a conservative examination of local economic and housing market conditions.  Among these areas is the Monroe, Louisiana metropolitan statistical area (MSA).

The health of the Monroe housing market is in part due to its position as a regional healthcare center and low tax rates.  These factors have induced retirees to move to Monroe, but local growth is primarily due to the growth of CenturyLink, two excellent colleges, and the Haynesville-Bossier Shale.  While the Shale is about 100 miles away, the effects of it are being felt in many ways.  According to home builder Conrad Blanchard of Casual Concepts, “oil and gas service companies are setting up shop here as are pipeline and oil drilling firms.”  He went on to say that “keeping CenturyLink’s headquarters in town even after the takeover of Denver-based Quest has been a boon to the community.  Many executives are relocating here and these new households not only need housing but often want new houses.”   As a result, education levels are rising in the area.    

Comparing educational and occupational data from the 2000 Census to the 2009 American Community Survey confirms these impacts.  Today there are 4,107 (or 19%) more management jobs than in 2000 and 564 (or 5%) more service jobs.  Reinforcing these findings, the number of people with a high school diploma increased from 32,451 to 38,100 and individuals with some college jumped from 23,010 to 25,701.  The number of people with an associate degree climbed from 2,825 to 4,832, those with a B.A grew from 14,278 to 18,297 and the number of professional degrees increased from 7,575 to 7,968.  Emblematic of the changing workforce dynamics, employment in the information industry grew by 41% followed closely by employment in professional servicers which increased by 38%. 

According to Jonathan Hill, President of Hill Construction, “our house prices never rose like they did in many places and thus have not fallen either.  In part it is because we are a small place and that has insulated us from the ups and downs of the economy.“  As a result, house prices have held up well over the past few years.  Prices are up 4.1% since the trough in June 2010 and have now surpassed the previous high set in August 2008.    

Improving economic conditions have resulted in payroll employment being just 3,900 down from its peak in September 2007 and up by almost 1% since the trough in March 2011.  Single family permitting activity is up a robust 3.8% on a seasonally adjusted monthly average basis from the trough set in March 2009.  While new homes are being built in many parts of the Monroe MSA, activity has been primarily centered in the Town of Sterlington due to its proximity to CenturyLink as well as areas in and around the City of West Monroe, which is known for its excellent schools.