World Housing Market Demand to Grow 3.2% Annually to 2018


Dallas, TX -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/10/2014 -- Worldwide construction of new housing units is projected to reach 62.0 million in 2018 on 3.2 percent yearly advances from 2013. Although global population growth is expected to decelerate over the forecast period, declines in average household size will support 1.6 percent annual growth in the number of households, which will in turn boost demand for new housing. Changes in population distribution, primarily due to rural-to-urban migration, will also bolster demand for new housing units in urban areas.

Multifamily housing units to outpace single-family

Through 2018 construction of multifamily housing units is projected to outpace that of single-family housing units. Rural-to-urban migration will be particularly strong in the Asia/Pacific region, which will drive regional demand for housing in urban areas. Worldwide, construction of new multifamily units will increase 3.5 percent annually through 2018 to 26.2 million units, with 70 percent of growth taking place in the Asia/Pacific region. Nevertheless, in that region and worldwide, single-family dwellings will continue to make up the majority of new housing units.

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Average size of new housing units to rebound

The average size of a new housing unit fell to 89 square meters in 2008 and remained at that size in 2013 due to the sharp declines in new unit completions in North America and Western Europe, where units tend to be larger. The average new dwelling size is forecast to expand to 93 square meters in 2018. Two factors will support this growth: rising personal incomes, particularly in developing countries, and recovering residential construction in developed regions to close to historical levels. In general, new units will be larger than existing units, reflective of rising standards of living across the globe.

Developed countries to see fastest gains in demand

Developed countries that suffered dramatic declines in residential construction around the time of the 2009 global economic recession are forecast to exhibit the fastest gains in construction of new housing units through 2018, though growth will typically be from a depressed 2013 base. North America can expect annual advances of 7.9 percent while Western Europe can expect a 6.1 percent per annum increase in construction of new housing units.

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Asia/Pacific, Africa/Mideast regions to see largest gains

The largest absolute gains in construction of new housing units are expected to be in the Asia/Pacific and Africa/Mideast regions. The Asia/Pacific region, led by China, is projected to be home to over three-fifths of the new dwellings constructed in the world in 2018. Between 2013 and 2018, new unit construction will increase by 4.8 million units to 38.5 million on 2.7 percent annual growth. New dwelling construction in the Africa/ Mideast region is expected to reach 13.0 million in 2018 on 3.7 percent annual growth, with absolute gains of over 2.1 million units, supported by above average population growth and household formation.

Additional Information

This Freedonia Group Economics Department study considers the world housing market for six world regions and 22 major national markets. It estimates both the size of the housing stock and the level of construction of new housing units by type of dwelling unit (single-family and multifamily). In the US and Canadian markets, detail is provided for manufactured housing (factory-built housing assembled on a fixed chassis for transport) in the total of stock and new units of single-family housing.

Historical data for 2003, 2008, and 2013 and forecasts for 2018 and 2023 are provided on a country-by-country basis for housing stock and new housing construction, both measured in units and in area of floor space. Tabular details may not always add to totals due to rounding.

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