The Future of Home Ownership

August 2, 1938

Report Outline
Signs of Revival in Residential Construction
The Potential Demand for New Houses
Cost of Buying and Maintaining a Home
Family Income Available for Rent or Purchase
Special Focus

Signs of Revival in Residential Construction

Increasing Activity in the Building Industry

Revival of residential construction is the most eagerly awaited sign of a new advance toward prosperity. During the recovery period from 1935 through the first half of 1937, while many industries approached or surpassed their 1929 levels, activity in the building trades remained far below the peaks which had been reached 10 years before.

Although the value of new residential buildings for the first six months of 1938 was 11 per cent less than for the corresponding period in 1937, the percentage of decline decreased from 51.4 per cent in February to 5.9 per cent in June, and early reports for July are encouraging. Figures from the Federal Housing Administration furnish a special basis for optimism. Mortgages insured by the F. H. A. in June had a total value 20 per cent above the amount for May, and 61 per cent above June, 1937. Mortgage insurance applications during the first four weeks of July were 100 per cent more than for the corresponding weeks in 1937. However, most of this increase is the result of liberalization of the Federal Housing Act last February, and only the very latest figures indicate a possibility that residential construction in 1938 may actually exceed the 1937 total.

During the first three months of 1938, more dwelling units were constructed in two-family and multi-family buildings than in single houses, but since that time individual dwelling construction has regained its normal lead. F. W. Dodge reports show that the number of homes built for owner-occupancy in the first six months of 1938 was greater than for any comparable period in several years. The outlook for increased home ownership is definitely improving so far as the immediate future is concerned. The long-term trend involves many factors which are less easy to evaluate.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Dec. 23, 2022  Homelessness Crisis
Apr. 02, 2021  Evictions and COVID-19
Mar. 02, 2018  Affordable Housing Shortage
Nov. 06, 2015  Housing Discrimination
Feb. 20, 2015  Gentrification
Apr. 05, 2013  Homeless Students
Dec. 14, 2012  Future of Homeownership
Dec. 18, 2009  Housing the Homeless
Nov. 02, 2007  Mortgage Crisis Updated
Feb. 09, 2001  Affordable Housing
Jan. 06, 1989  Affordable Housing: Is There Enough?
Oct. 30, 1981  Creative Home Financing
Nov. 07, 1980  Housing the Poor
Dec. 21, 1979  Rental Housing Shortage
Nov. 24, 1978  Housing Restoration and Displacement
Apr. 22, 1977  Housing Outlook
Sep. 26, 1973  Housing Credit Crunch
Aug. 06, 1969  Communal Living
Jul. 09, 1969  Private Housing Squeeze
Mar. 04, 1966  Housing for the Poor
Apr. 10, 1963  Changing Housing Climate
Sep. 26, 1956  Prefabricated Housing
Sep. 02, 1949  Cooperative Housing
May 14, 1947  Liquidation of Rent Controls
Dec. 17, 1946  National Housing Emergency, 1946-1947
Mar. 05, 1946  New Types of Housing
Oct. 08, 1941  Rent Control
Aug. 02, 1938  The Future of Home Ownership
Sep. 05, 1934  Building Costs and Home Renovation
Nov. 20, 1933  Federal Home Loans and Housing
Nov. 17, 1931  Housing and Home Ownership
Mortgage Loans and Home Finance