Greensboro-High Point Saw 24.2% Increase in Home Construction Value Since Last Year

After a two-year frenzy during the COVID-19 pandemic, the residential real estate market has begun to show signs of slowing down this spring and summer. Mortgage rates are on the rise, and applications for home loans are down year-over-year. Housing inventory for sale is increasing, and sellers are showing more willingness to lower their asking prices.

While there are recent signs that the market is balancing out, the last two years brought unprecedented growth in home values, to the benefit of current owners and homebuilders. With low interest rates, homebuyers were able to borrow more money and pay more for homes. This sent prices to record levels. And with values rising quickly, builders have rushed to build housing: the number of units currently under construction is at its highest level since the 1970s.

Chart1_Growth in total value of newly built homes in the US has accelerated.png

The value of new residential units had already been on a steady upward trajectory since the collapse of the housing bubble and ensuing Great Recession in the mid-2000s. After bottoming out at around $95 billion in 2009, the annual value of new housing units nearly tripled over the next decade to $280 billion in 2019. But this growth accelerated even further during the COVID-19 pandemic, with new units valued at $307 billion in 2020 and leaping to $380 billion last year. 

The spike in new home values came amid a period of historically low interest rates as the U.S. Federal Reserve attempted to stimulate the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the central bank of the U.S., the Fed’s monetary policy moves affect how much it costs other banks—and in turn their customers—to borrow. The Fed sent its effective federal funds rate to near zero early in 2020 and kept rates low for the next two years. But now, with persistent inflation widely affecting every corner of the economy, the Fed has begun to raise interest rates to tamp down borrowing and cool the economy, and more increases are on the horizon this year. As costs to borrow increase, fewer homebuyers will seek mortgages, and financing for new construction projects will become more expensive.

Chart2_The federal funds rate is rapidly increasing.png

While interest rate hikes are likely to cool demand and slow the pace of home price increases, the Fed’s recent moves cannot solve the housing market’s more fundamental supply challenges. According to researchers at Freddie Mac, the U.S. had a 3.8 million-unit deficit of housing supply in 2020. And with labor shortages and increased material costs during the pandemic, new construction projects may take longer or cost more to complete.

Some locations, however, are investing more in new residential construction than others compared to the same time last year. Massachusetts—one of the most expensive states for housing due to low supply—saw the value of new residential housing permits increase by more than a third from the first months of 2021 to the same period in 2022. Another high-cost state, Hawaii, had an increase of 28.2% over the same span. And at the metro level, major cities in many parts of the U.S. are adding thousands of new units worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Chart3_MA and HI had the biggest increases in home construction.png

 determine the metros with the biggest increases in home construction, researchers at Construction Coverage analyzed the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Building Permits Survey. The researchers ranked metro areas according to the value of residential housing permits authorized from January through April of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.

The analysis found that the Greensboro-High Point metro area experienced a 24.2% increase in the value of new residential housing units during the study period, compared to the national increase of 8.4%. Here is a summary of the data for the Greensboro-High Point, NC metro area:

  • Percentage increase in value of new residential housing units: +24.2%
  • Total increase in value of new residential housing units: +$66,738,000
  • Percentage increase in new residential housing units: +30.8%
  • Total increase in new residential housing units: +365

For reference, here are the statistics for the entire United States:

  • Percentage increase in value of new residential housing units: +8.4%
  • Total increase in value of new residential housing units: +$10,209,990,000
  • Percentage increase in new residential housing units: +4.4%
  • Total increase in new residential housing units: +24,958

For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Construction Coverage’s website: https://constructioncoverage.com/research/cities-with-biggest-increase-in-home-construction-2022

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