Multifamily on the move

From conversations we’ve had with cabinet manufacturers over the past few years, those that serve multifamily construction have enjoyed a strong market.

According to the July 2013 Housing commentary from Virginia Tech, multifamily will continue to grow. Its share of housing construction increased from 25 percent in 2009 to more than 35 percent in 2012, according to U.S. Census data.

According to U.S. Department of Commerce construction data, there were some 300,000 multi-family starts out of about 900,000 total starts (seasonally adjusted annual rate.) Of the multifamily starts, nearly all were for five or more units.

Virginia Tech’s conclusions were that the housing market continues to marginally improve, with several sectors stagnating and some potential negative macro-factors that could limit a robust housing recovery, based on historical long-term averages.

Some of these negatives include government debt, slow economy and job growth, and slowdowns in Europe and China.

On the positive side, consumer confidence is at a five-year high, but wages -- measured in real median household income – continue to fall.

Higher mortgage rates are on the way, the study suggests, but this can actually be good for housing as it forces many people to get off the fence.

The Virginia Tech study suggests that the future housing market may include more multifamily housing, smaller single-family houses, and more people who will choose to live in a city instead of a suburb.

The study also points out that housing, the economy and wood products are “joined at the hip.”


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About the author
Karl Forth

Karl D. Forth is online editor for CCI Media. He also writes news and feature stories in FDMC Magazine, in addition to newsletters and custom publishing projects. He is also involved in event organization, and compiles the annual FDM 300 list of industry leaders. He can be reached at [email protected].