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The Zelman Buzz

Exclusive insights and analyses from our industry-leading research team

Will Media Narrative Surrounding Homeownership Declines Embolden Already-Aggressive Built-for-Rent Developers?

November 18, 2021 by Alan Ratner

In recent weeks, a number of media headlines have pointed to a “plummeting" interest in homeownership as a by-product of the pandemic, seemingly justifying the massive push towards purpose-built single-family rental communities as households seek out the flexibility of renting along with the benefits of the single-family lifestyle. The narrative...
Labor Shortages Abound, Not So For Realtors Chasing Robust Pricing

October 27, 2021 by Ryan McKeveny

With severe labor shortages throughout the economy, including in the construction sector, one area seeing fairly unfettered expansion is the real estate agent community, encouraged by the housing market’s strength over the last 18 months and low barriers to entry. The National Association of Realtors’ membership, a rough proxy for industry-wide agent count, has reached its highest level ever...
Are Housing Demand and Supply Set on Diverging Courses?

October 21, 2021 by Dennis McGill

One of the critical conclusions expressed in our recent thematic demographic report, Cradle to Grave, was that “the seeds of oversupply are being planted.” In an environment where the widely-accepted belief is that there is a housing shortage, the statement has naturally drawn skepticism.
New Data from Census Confirms Weakest Household Growth in Nation’s History Last Decade

August 12, 2021 by Dennis McGill

Earlier today, the Census Bureau released additional information collected during the 2020 Census, following the initial release of national and state population totals in April that we discussed in a previous blog. According to the results, there were 126.8 million households as of April 1st, 2020, representing an 8.7% increase from 2010, or an additional 10.1 million households. This marked the slowest decade of household formation in the country’s history...
Is the "Pig in the Python" Back?

June 24, 2021 by Ivy Zelman & Rachel Rockey

In 2009, when distressed activity was top of mind, we were vocal in our concern that the buildup of foreclosure moratoriums was portraying a false sense of security at a time when industry participants and investors were hoping for a bottoming out in the market. Our views were justified as...
A Single-Family Buy-Versus-Rent Comparison Like Never Before

May 25, 2021 by Dennis McGill & Alan Ratner

Historically, buy-versus-rent calculations have been widely utilized to assess housing affordability, but we have always struggled with the limitations around real world comparability. Data constraints have led many to compare different asset classes (single-family versus multi-family)...
High-Level Decennial Census Results Revealed – What Did We Learn?

April 26, 2021 by Dennis McGill

Today, the Census Bureau released national and state population totals as tabulated by the Decennial Census. The government arm estimates the country’s population via numerous surveys and programs throughout the decade, but the Decennial Census is by far the most rigorous and relied upon. So what did we learn?
Homebuilding Activity Slowed in February but Is Weather to Blame?

April 08, 2021 by Kevin Kaczmarek

February single-family housing starts as reported by the Census Bureau decelerated faster than expected, leaving them at the lowest seasonally-adjusted level since August 2020. As we noted the week prior to the release in our latest Homebuilding Survey, extreme weather conditions, especially in Texas...
 
Revisiting History as Mortgage Rates Climb Higher

April 01, 2021 by Ivy Zelman & Dennis McGill

No discussion about the health of, and future outlook for, the housing market would be complete without consideration of the mortgage rate environment. During our September 2020 Virtual Housing Summit presentation, we spent considerable time dissecting the various catalysts...
Search for Fresh Air Key in 2020, but Not New

January 05, 2021 by Dennis McGill

Although 2020 will likely go down as one of the strongest years on record for home sales and home price appreciation, it paralleled one of the weakest population backdrops in our country's history...
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demographics