LANSING, Mich. — The supply of affordable housing options in Michigan has not met the increasing demand, and Michigan residents have taken notice. In a statewide poll conducted earlier this year by the Marketing Research Group (MRG), 34% of Michigan residents indicated that their communities had too few housing options.
“Housing is an economic development issue,” said Bob Filka, CEO of the HBA of Michigan (HBAM). “To increase job creation and grow our population base, communities need to start focusing on their residential building industry.” The Home Builders Association of Michigan estimates that production for single-family homes will drop below 17,000 in 2019. Based on economic data, however, that number should be 40% higher. “We have a growing missing middle in the housing marketplace in virtually every community in our state where the only production happening is at the higher end of the market. Lack of supply is going to catch up with us,” noted Filka.
New housing construction has remained flat year-over-year for the month of June. Last month 1,548 permits were issued, compared to 1,536 in June of 2018. Year-to-date for this year, there have been 7,134 permits issued in Michigan, compared to 8,568 during the same period in 2018. This represents a 20% decrease.
A number of trends point to the housing crisis that HBAM has been warning about for the past few years. A lack of skilled labor, shortage of buildable lots, and inconsistent and burdensome government regulations are all troubling issues that negatively impact the housing industry and must be addressed.
“Those communities that recognize the changed dynamics of the housing industry will have a distinct competitive advantage over others in the future,” said Filka. “Those communities that don’t, will find themselves experiencing fewer housing opportunities for the residents and potentially an economic decline.”
HBAM has issued a proposed action plan to aggressively attack challenges faced by the industry. Copies of the HBAM report, “Housing Challenges Threaten Our Economic Growth—Where Will Ten Million Michiganders Live?” can be downloaded at HBAofMichigan.com.
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