Global Housing

Household Formation, Urban Migration, and Strengthening Consumer Finances Drive New Housing Activity


Global new housing construction levels are forecast to reach 60.6 million units in 2022. Growth will be supported by a number of positive demographic trends worldwide, including:

  • continued population and household formation growth – particularly among the 25-to-44-year-old group, a prime source of first-time homebuyers
  • ongoing rural-to-urban migration
  • strengthening consumer finances and rising levels of employment

In addition, overall economic expansion, infrastructure improvements, and more highly developed mortgage financing systems in emerging markets will contribute to increased homebuilding activity.

Key Findings in the Global Housing Study:

India and China to Account for Largest Gains in New Housing; Africa/Mideast to Post Fastest Regional Growth

Together, India and China are forecast to account for over 33% of the new homes built worldwide through 2022. Both countries are expected to see demand for new housing continue to rise along with their expanding middle classes and growing urban populations, as well as the implementation of government programs to increase the supply of low-income housing.

Such market drivers are also expected to boost new housing construction in the Africa/Mideast region, which is projected to outperform all other world regions through 2022. An acceleration in the region’s homebuilding activity will be due to strong rebounds in a number of large housing markets – including Iran, South Africa, and Iraq – that saw new housing levels fall between 2012 and 2017.

Greece and Spain to Post Strong Rebounds and See Fastest Housing Growth

The fastest annual increases in new housing construction are projected for Greece and Spain, both of which saw double-digit declines between 2012 and 2017. Housing demand will rise quickly due to improved economic outlook, stabilizing home prices, and growing interest in new property investments by foreign buyers. In addition, government programs to fund the construction of new rental housing in Spain will help boost construction. Nevertheless, new housing in both countries will remain well below historical levels.

Global Housing Stock Forecast to Slightly Outperform Population Growth through 2022

The global housing stock is forecast to expand at a 1.5% annual pace through 2022, rising slightly faster than the overall population. Higher income levels will enable families living in shared quarters to move into their own dwellings and will help more affluent households afford purchases of second homes. Single-family dwellings will continue to account for close to two-thirds of existing homes worldwide, although growing urban populations are supporting an expanding share of multifamily units.

Study Coverage

This study presents historical data (2007, 2012, and 2017) and forecasts for 2022 and 2027 for new housing construction and housing stock by housing type (single-family and multifamily) for 58 countries and 6 world regions.

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