CAMBRIDGE, MA – Since the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies first released its seminal State of the Nation’s Housing report in 1988, more than 40 million housing units have been built in the U.S., the country has added 27 million new households, and last year’s national homeownership rate of 63.9 percent was very close to the 64 percent rate of the late 1980s. At the same time, however, the number of Americans burdened by housing costs has risen by nearly 14 million households over the last 30 years, the number of households with student loan debt has nearly doubled, and the gap between black and white homeownership has widened.

These and other findings are detailed in the Center’s 2018 State of the Nation’s Housing report being released today at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

“By many metrics, the U.S. housing market in 2018 is on sound footing,” said Chris Herbert, managing director of the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. “But a number of challenges highlighted in the first State of the Nation’s Housing report 30 years ago persist today, and in many respects the situation has worsened for both the lowest-income Americans and those higher up the income ladder.”

Growing income inequality has helped drive the increase in cost-burdened households. According to the report, the real median income of households in the bottom quartile increased only 3 percent between 1988 and 2016, while the median income for adults aged 25 to 34 rose by just 5 percent. Meanwhile, the median home price grew 41 percent faster than inflation between 1990 and 2016, the median rent grew 20 percent faster, and the nation had 2.5 million fewer units renting for less than $800 a month (in real terms).

The increases in prices and rents combined with a growing lack of subsidies for low-income households mean that nearly a third of all households (38.1 million) paid more than 30 percent of their incomes for housing in 2016, the widely-accepted metric for affordability. These include 20.8 million renters (47 percent), and of these, 11 million pay more than half their income for housing. While these figures are down slightly from their peak during the recession, they are significantly higher than in previous decades.

“If incomes had kept pace with the economy’s growth over the past 30 years, they would have easily matched the rise in housing costs,” notes Daniel McCue, a senior research associate at the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and lead author of the report. “But that hasn’t happened.”

The Harvard report also points to constraints in the supply of new housing, which is helping fuel affordability challenges. Construction started on 1.2 million new housing units in 2017, up slightly from 2016. The entire increase last year came from single-family starts, which were up 8.6 percent but, at just 849,000 units in 2017, remained well below the 1.1 million per year historical average. In contrast, multifamily starts declined by 9.7 percent to 354,100 units. The relative lack of new housing, along with Americans’ decreasing propensity to move, limited the number of homes for sale, which dropped to record lows in 2017.

As a result, house prices rose 6.2 percent in 2017 and now top their pre-crisis peaks in a majority of the nation’s largest metros. While rents also increased by a more modest 3.7 percent, there are signs that rent increases are slowing and vacancies are increasing, particularly for new, high-end units.

The easing of conditions in the rental market reflects the fact that, after a decade of soaring rental demand, U.S. households are returning to homebuying. The national homeownership rate rose for the first time in 13 years to 63.9 percent last year, up 0.5 percentage point from its low in 2016. Although the overall rate is now similar to the rate that prevailed in the late-1980s, the gap in black and white homeownership rates is larger than it was 30 years ago and homeownership rates among young adults is down sharply.

Overall, the new report shows that, if the nation is to make real progress in addressing its housing challenges, there is a clear need to expand assistance for those beyond the market’s reach. “We need strategies to help the private sector produce more moderately-priced housing,” said Herbert. “Doing so will require new approaches for making effective use of public funding, reducing construction costs, and easing regulatory barriers.”

The State of the Nation’s Housing 2018 will be released by LIVE WEBCAST from the
National Press Club on Tuesday, June 19 at 4pm Eastern.

Download the full report along with interactive maps and tools at:

Join the conversation on Twitter with #harvardhousingreport

Kerry Donahue, Associate Director of Communications
(617) 495-7640,

Read more here.



In the News – Consumer Sentiment Rose 1.3% in Early May

In the News – Consumer Sentiment Rose 1.3% in Early May

Ann Arbor, MI, June 15, 2018-Consumer sentiment rose 1.3% to 99.3 in early June from May’s 98.0 rate, according to the University of Michigan Survey of Consumers.

This represents a 4.5% increase year over year.

“Consumer sentiment rose slightly in early June due to consumers’ more favorable assessments of their current financial situation and more favorable views of current buying conditions for household durables,” says Survey of Consumers chief economist, Richard Curtin. “The Expectations Index, in contrast, declined to its lowest level since the start of the year due to less favorable prospects for the overall economy. The sharpest divide was between the record number of households who mentioned recent income gains and the highest expected year-ahead inflation rate since 2015. At some point in every economic expansion, favorable income and job prospects act to offset higher inflation and interest rate expectations. Only when inflation and interest rates are expected to persistently exceed income and job prospects will consumers begin to curtail their discretionary spending. Indeed, greater certainty about future income and job prospects have become the main drivers of more favorable purchase plans. The importance of favorable job prospects for discretionary spending on durables is highlighted in the chart, which shows the correspondence between consumers’ unemployment expectations and the annual per capita change in expenditures on durable goods from BEA accounts. The unemployment rate during the year ahead was more often expected to decline than increase (29% versus 23%), with most (48%) expecting it to remain unchanged at its current low, which should modestly accelerate purchases. Moreover, the continued small declines that are now anticipated in the unemployment rate, as well as more robust gains in household income, will bolster real personal consumption expenditures during the year ahead.”

Read more here

In the News – Why Tile℠ Launches A&D Tools in Commercial Sector Launch

In the News – Why Tile℠ Launches A&D Tools in Commercial Sector Launch

Why Tile℠ announces the next release of the tile industry’s marketing and education initiative with the launch of the Commercial Guide section of the website, complete with new content and tools for Architects, Designers, and Specifiers.

The tile industry collaborates on the Why Tile℠ campaign, which debuted at Coverings 2017 with a residential section. Major industry organizations contribute to Why Tile℠, including: Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA), National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF), Tile Contractors Association of America, and Tile Heritage Foundation (THF), in addition to manufacturers worldwide. Why Tile℠ is coordinated by the Tile Council of North America (TCNA).

The Why Tile℠ website is designed to educate about the numerous benefits of ceramic tile and inspire the limitless design options of ceramic tile. It’s not a “path to purchase” website, but rather Why Tile℠ is designed to help consumers, and now the A&D sector, use tile in their projects and help them understand the benefits of using tile for their specific applications.

“ will continue to evolve and this next launch furthers the value provides as a planning tool,” says Kathy Meyer, Marketing Director, TCNA. “You’ll find the commercial site loaded with fun inspiration, and also the data necessary for making an informed commercial space specification.”

“We’ve chosen to launch Why Tile℠ advances at Coverings because this is where our industry comes together,” says Eric Astrachan, Executive Director, TCNA. “There’s so much excitement in our community for this work. We are proud to unveil and celebrate these next steps that will guide and support professionals with their choice of ceramic tile.”

Learn more by attending Why Tile℠ QuickFire sessions while at Coverings (Tuesday – Thursday):

1. Do You Know What’s in Your Floor Covering?
2. Ceramic Tile is the Greenest Option
3. Ceramic Tile vs. Competitive Products
4. Health, Wellness & Ceramic Tile
5. Durability of Ceramic Tile
6. The Value of Ceramic Tile from a Realtor Perspective

You’ll also enjoy the Why Tile℠ video playing continuously in Connector B/C and the Installation Experience (Booth #8401).

Read more here.

Coverings Highlight: Coverings is THE place to see the latest and greatest in Tile!

Coverings Highlight: Coverings is THE place to see the latest and greatest in tile and stone design. Some of the standout trends this year included large format stone, thin tile (on the floor, wall and beyond…), porcelain patio pavers, Customizable porcelain slabs, Present-day patchwork, Black and White… See more tile trends is our design gallery!

#Coverings 2018 #tile #stone #design #interiors #countdown #architecture #houzz #home #homedecor #renovation #interiors #decor #trends #homerenovation #homereno #remodel #ceramictile #tiledesign #interiordesign #ihavethisthingwithtile #tileinspo #tilestyle #tileinstallation

Coverings Highlight: Three unique tiny homes

Coverings Highlight: Three unique tiny homes were built onsite as part of the 9th annual Installation Design Showcase. Tile installations by certified installers turned these little spaces into huge crowd-pleasers.
Designs, installation and materials by @TheJohnsonStudio @RitaCarsonGuest @JBB_Designs @VisaliaTile, J&R Tile @SchluterSystems, @CrossvilleInc @MapeiAmericas @Laticrete @ArdexAmericas @WediCorp @DelConcaUSA @Lea_Ceramiche, @Ceramiche_Caesar

See more here:

#Coverings 2018 #whytile #tinyhomes #tinyliving #tinyhouse #tile #stone #design #interiors #building #materials #architecture #ceramictile #tiledesign #interiordesign #tileinstallation #tileinstaller #flooring #tilegeeks

Coverings Highlight: The (free) educational sessions at Coverings

Coverings Highlight: The (free) educational sessions at Coverings cover all sorts of relevant tile and stone topics, including how to get points using tile in green building, color theory and installation techniques – a great way to get your CEUs! Learn more about green building and tile at @Green_Squared

#Coverings2018 #tile #education #CEU #tcna #ceramictileindustry #industry #news #tile #design #marketnews #naturalmaterials #wellness #healthyspaces #ceramictile #porcelaintile #tile #floor #greenbuiding #EPDs #LEED #greensquared #sustainability #teamtile #whytile #stressfreesustainability #tradeshow #standards #tilegeeks