The National Association of Home Builders suggests two to four unit multifamily housing to be a fit solution for the housing shortage. Such structures could be duplexes, fourplexes, townhomes, courtyard buildings, and cottage courts. For first-time buyers, Boomers, single-person households, and those wanting to downsize, this solution could be ideal. It provides a more affordable entry into homeownership and offers smaller footprints than single-family detached homes, yet lower density than a large apartment complex. This type of housing has been affected by the pandemic, with permit data for two to four unit multifamily construct at its lowest in April, but reaching its highest level in October.
Looking at the quarterly averages for 2020, permits averaged 45,000 units per month in the first quarter, 38,000 units during the second quarter, 47,000 units in the third quarter, and rising to 52,000 units at the end of the year. These gains were consistent with a suburban shift witnessed for both single-family and multifamily construction, which will lead ultimately to market share gains for missing middle, light touch multifamily development.