WASHINGTON — Annual single-family housing production in 2008 and 2009 fell about one million units short of the housing that would be needed in a normally functioning economy, suggesting that builders will have a lot of catching up to do as the economy improves and household formations return to trend levels, according to a special study by economists at the National Association of Home Builders.

The report, "Extent of Underbuilding in the Single-Family Housing Market," finds that there was an excessive amount of single-family building from 2003 through 2005, but overbuilding largely ended by 2006 and the subsequent downturn was severe enough to more than offset those annual surpluses. This year is likely to add to the growing deficit of single-family homes by another one million units, the report finds.

"The single-family housing market in the U.S. currently finds itself in a significantly underbuilt state," said NAHB Chairman Bob Jones, a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. "Pent-up demand for housing will at some point need to be worked off, pushing single-family production in a positive direction. In the meantime, the deficit continues to grow as builders remain cut off from the credit they need to begin developing and building new housing."

Read NAHB's report here.

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