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Harvard: The State of the Nation’s Housing 2006

Every year I look forward to the release of the The State of the Nation’s Housing study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard [1]. Its a comprehensive macro look at our nation’s housing that is insightful and easy to read.

Download the report [pdf] [2]

The report suggests that the current housing slowdown will be moderate but affordability problems over the next decade will continue to deteriorate.

Nevertheless, the housing sector continues to benefit from solid job and household growth, recovering rental markets, and strong home price appreciation. As long as these positive forces remain in place, the current slowdown should be moderate.

Over the longer term, household growth is expected to accelerate from about 12.6 million over the past ten years to 14.6 million over the next ten. When combined with projected income gains and a rising tide of wealth, strengthening demand should lift housing production and investment to new highs. But with the economy generating so many low-wage jobs and land use restrictions driving up housing costs, today’s widespread affordability problems will also intensify.

Here’s a sample of some of the wide variety of charts from the study: