I’ve been waffling a bit on what to highlight in this month’s report. I’ve decided not to decide. So here are four items that caught my eye this month.

First, this story and map, show the localization of undersupply of housing in the US market. Generally, the coasts are hardest hit, but that might be expected considering the effort required to burn through the excess built into the years before the last financial crisis. Texas, in this context, looks pretty good.

Second, perhaps reflective of the labor costs involved, or perhaps the costs of inputs like lumber, there is a growing divergence in inventory between new homes and existing homes. See this post.

Third, and related to this divergence, is this report on the growing issue of housing affordability.

Finally, taking a longer view, this post on where we are in the business cycle. If one believes that housing’s slow contribution to the recovery has stretched the life of this cycle, it’s an interesting question on the effect of a slowdown in housing (because of affordability, rates, take your choice) has in extending it further – or in ending it all together.

On the local level, March outpaced February of transactions involving parties generally associated with housing development who had more than one transaction in the month. The total transactions meeting that criteria, in our view, as up 6 to 115. See the attached.