World Housing Market Demand to grow 3% Annually to 2019

Worldwide construction of new housing units is forecast to increase 3.0 percent per annum to 62.6 million units in 2019. While global population growth is fore-cast to decelerate, declines in average household size will still allow the number of households in the world to increase 1.6 percent annually through 2019, boosting demand for new housing units. In addition, increased rural-to-urban migration, especially in developing countries, will spur construction of new housing units in urban areas.

North America, Western Europe to be fastest growing markets

North America and Western Europe are expected to experience the most rapid growth in new housing unit demand through 2019. In both cases, gains will rise from depressed 2014 bases, with many countries recovering from the collapse of housing bubbles. Several of the countries that experienced the most severe downturns, including the United States and some countries in Western Europe, will experience double-digit annual increases in new housing units, although in most cases 2019 levels will remain below those in 2004.

Multifamily housing units to outpace single-family units

On a global basis, multifamily units are forecast to experience faster gains in new construction than single-family units through 2019, the result of increasing urbanization in many developing countries. Rural-to-urban migrations will be particularly strong in the two most popu-lous regions -- Africa/Mideast and Asia/Pacific -- and those new urban residents will heighten demand for multifamily housing. Construction of new multifamily units worldwide is forecast to advance 3.7 percent per annum through 2019 with the Asia/Pacific and Africa/Mideast regions accounting for over 90 percent of the increases.

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Asia/Pacific housing stock to remain dominant, Africa/ Mideast region to lead gains

In 2014, the world housing stock was 2.1 billion units. The global housing stock is expected to outpace household formation through the forecast period, reaching over 2.2 billion units in 2019. The Asia/Pacific region will continue to account for slightly more than one-half of the world’s housing stock through the forecast period. The Africa/Mideast region had the second largest regional housing stock in 2014 at 17 percent of the worldwide total. It is expected to register the fastest regional housing stock growth through 2019, spurred by declining household sizes and rural-to-urban migration.

Average new housing unit size to rise through 2019

Because of the unusually low levels of housing construction in 2014 in North America and Western Europe, where units tend to be larger, the global average size of a new housing unit was lower in 2014 than it was in 2009 or 2004. The average new unit size is projected to rise slightly to 91 square meters in 2019. In-creasing incomes (particularly in developing countries) will support gains in average size. New units are generally larger than those in the existing stock, reflecting global rising per capita incomes and standards of living.

Additional Information

This 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 2004, 2009, and 2014 and forecasts for 2019 and 2024 are provided on a country-by-country basis for housing stock and new housing construction, both measured in terms of units and i n area of floor space. Tabular details may not always add to totals due to rounding.

Table of Contents

Introduction IX

I. Executive Summary

II. Market Environment
World Economic Overview
Recent Historical Trends
World Economic Outlook
World Demographic Overview
Urban Population 
Per Capita GDP 
World Residential Building Construction Expenditures 
Legislation & Regulatory Considerations 

III. Overview 23
Housing Stock by Region 
Housing Stock by Housing Type 
Housing Quality 
Informal Housing 
Access to Water & Sewage Facilities 
Access to Electricity 
New Housing Demand by Region 
New Housing Demand by Type 

IV. North America 46
Housing Stock 
New Housing Units 
United States