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According to NAHB’s Home Building Geography Index, residential construction, including single-family and multifamily, has expanded faster in regions of lower population density and the public health crisis has added momentum to the trend. Over the past year, apartment construction growth in less dense markets has outpaced expansion in larger metropolitan areas, leading to changes in apartment construction market share.

The figure on the NAHB website shows that the shares of multifamily construction in lower density areas increased since the first quarter of 2016, the first quarter of data for the HBGI. Moreover, the change in market shares accelerated during 2019. This trend is likely to continue as housing leads the U.S. economic recovery from the coronavirus-induced slump, albeit with changed housing demand reflecting a preference for lower-density markets.

A forthcoming analysis of the 2020 first quarter HBGI data will feature a new segmentation of the housing market, those counties that rank in the top 25% of employment share in Education and Health Services sector. The focus on this sector is pivotal to the current state of affairs in the United States.

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