Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Food for thought: New housing in North America

This morning StatsCan released new housing numbers for the country (it was down slightly) for a total of 208,000 for the full year.  Consider that the U.S. is working on the basis that new homes for 2011 will total something like 595,000.  America a country who's population is literally 10 time bigger (and 12 times richer) will only build slighly more than twice as many homes as are built in Canada.

In fact, for the US you need to go to the 1960s (when America's population was was half of today's) to come close to the current level of new housing.  It is also about a third of what it was at its peak in 2006/7.  This creates a serious drag.  Part of the problem is aging population (true also in Canada) but also the slow formation of household.  Young people without a job cannot move out of their parent's basement.

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