The housing market has been called the anchor holding the economic recovery down. In the past, the comeback of a healthy job market is highly dependent upon the construction sector (nearly 25% of recovery is attributed to new construction).
Most recent job reports show rapid improvement in 25-34 year olds, the same age group who feed the housing demand. Numbers show the unemployment rate dropping for this age group by 9% in January and 8.7% in February.
“Today’s jobs report means housing demand will pick up: as young people go back to work, they’ll be able to rent their own place or start saving for a down payment. Construction is picking up, too, but not fast enough to lead the recovery. To get back to its traditional share of jobs, construction needs to catch up from its long slowdown by outpacing overall growth. Right now construction employment is keeping pace with the overall economy but not growing fast enough to get back to its normal share.” says Jed Kolko, chief economist and head of analytics at Trulia.
A famous statistic quote is ‘correlation does not prove causation,’ but there certainly is an inverse relationship between a vibrant housing market and unemployment. The role real estate casts a wide net.
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Montana Specific Highlights from the 2010 Census Report:
- The average new single-family home sold was built on a lot of 17,590 square feet. The average lot size for new homes sold inside metropolitan areas was 16,585 square feet. Outside metropolitan areas, it was 27,363 square feet.
- 58% of all new single-family homes sold were financed by a conventional loan. The proportion was 62% in 2009 and 74% in 2008. The proportion that were financed by an FHA-insured loan was 25% in 2010, 24% in 2009, and 16% in 2008.
- The average sales price of new single-family homes sold was $272,900. The average sales price was $270,900 in 2009, $292,600 in 2008 and $313,600 in 2007.
- The average price per square foot for new single-family homes sold was $84.07. Regionally, the average price per square foot was $111.05 in the Northeast, $85.24 in the Midwest, $75.72 in the South, and $102.75 in the West.
- Of the 155,000 multifamily units completed, 50% had one bathroom, 5% had 1½ bathrooms, and 46% had 2 or more bathrooms.
- The average square footage of multifamily units completed and built for sale was 1,388.
- 9,000 multifamily buildings were completed. Of these, 22% were 2-unit buildings and 16% were 3 to 4-unit buildings.