Currently Reading

National Builders Still Playing Catch Up After Great Recession Shortage

New-Construction Projects

National Builders Still Playing Catch Up After Great Recession Shortage

Home builders are facing a nationwide construction deficit 12 years in the making

December 3, 2021
New home construction

Despite a major year-over-year surge in residential building permits from February 2020 to February 2021, national builders are still playing catch up with a large deficit to fill after years of underbuilding following the Great Recession. There remains a cumulative shortage of 1.35 million new single-family homes permitted in the nation’s 35 largest housing markets, equal to 2.7 years’ worth of permits at current residential construction rates, reports Zillow.

In the 12-month period from August 2020 to August 2021, total residential permit activity reached a new post-Great Recession peak, but even this year’s dramatic growth rate represents only the first year of above-trend construction in over 11 years. 

The number of homes listed for sale in America ticked down in October, marking the end of 2021’s modest inventory rebound that began in May, and leaving current levels down by more than a third from pre-pandemic norms. But how did we get here? Why are there so few homes available to buy, even as homebuilders seem to currently be firing on all cylinders to develop and sell more homes?

More than 1.5 million residential building permits were issued between February 2020 and February 2021 — a benchmark level of housing construction surpassed in every building boom since the 1970s. The problem is that after permit activity bottomed out in 2009 at the depths of the housing crisis, it took more than 11 years to get back to that threshold. The new home construction market today very much remains in catch-up mode, recovering from a decline that was both much steeper and took longer to come out of than in any previous construction cycle.

Read More

Related Stories

New-Construction Projects

New-Home Construction Activity Increases Following a Surge in Building Permits

Builders are chipping away at record-low housing inventory, but they may not be moving fast enough to keep pace with escalating demand

New-Construction Projects

November 2021 Records High Share of Single-Family Permits

Year-to-date (YTD) single-family permits saw major gains over the first eleven months of 2021—here are the regions with the most growth

Manufacturers + Suppliers

Supply Chain Issues Cause Sky High December Prices

Persistent supply chain challenges drove consumer prices to new highs for the month of December


More in Category


Create an account

By creating an account, you agree to Pro Builder's terms of service and privacy policy.

Daily Feed Newsletter

Get Pro Builder in your inbox

Each day, Pro Builder's editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Save the stories you care about

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

The bookmark icon allows you to save any story to your account to read it later
Tap it once to save, and tap it again to unsave

It looks like you’re using an ad-blocker!

Pro Builder is an advertisting supported site and we noticed you have ad-blocking enabled in your browser. There are two ways you can keep reading:

Disable your ad-blocker
Disable now
Subscribe to Pro Builder
Already a member? Sign in
Become a Member

Subscribe to Pro Builder for unlimited access

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.