Medium-density housing lags behind, with townhouse construction starts dropping 3% year over year in the third quarter of 2020. Third-quarter starts totaled 31,000 while 2019 third quarter starts totaled 32,000. Single-family attached starts over the last four quarters are 5% lower than the previous four-quarter total. The National Association of Home Builders believes townhouse construction will continue to lag behind the overall building market in the short-term due to the ability to work from home and more Americans flock to the suburbs.
The peak market share of the last two decades for townhouse construction was set during the first quarter of 2008, when the percentage reached 14.6% of total single-family construction. This high point was set after a fairly consistent increase in the share beginning in the early 1990s.
Over the near-term, townhouse construction is likely to lag the overall building market, as telecommuting allows people to live further from urban cores in less dense neighborhoods.