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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Residential Construction in Northwest Indiana

I've been away for a while, hence my silence.

Yesterday, I attended a luncheon (sponsored by The Times of Northwest Indiana), at which people from a number of sectors of the local economy talked about recent developments and trends. I thought one of the most interesting discussions focused on residential housing markets in Northwest Indiana.

Two things about residential housing appear to be true: Construction is very strong, particularly for single-family housing and condos. And annual sales of existing and new housing continue to set records.

These two facts coexist with a couple of other facts: Population growth remains slow. The average household size is essentially unchanged since 1980. And the percentage of families reporting that they own their own homes is also essentially unchanged since 1980. (These last two facts are based on Census data, and thus may be a bit old.)

Near as I can tell, unless some part of Northwest Indiana is "hollowing out," with housing being abandoned, these two sets of facts are not consistent with each other. It makes an interesting research puzzle, and I may have to spend some time on it.


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