Excerpt from the 4Q17 Witten Advisory: Although households are becoming more likely to buy, the orange slices in the above chart show that for-sale inventory is increasingly scarce. The U.S. now has nearly 200,000 fewer vacant single-family owner units than normal. In addition, this dearth of for-sale product is growing quarter by quarter. Single-family starts did hit a 10-year high in November, but volumes remain low historically.
2+ rentals in light blue (not only apartments but also duplexes, triplexes and quads) continued to report a deficit as well, though much smaller than the severe shortages reported from 2014 through early this year.
In aggregate, the total housing stock is undersupplied and should support home price appreciation and rental growth in the years ahead.