Complete Story


Housing Continues to Lead the Economy

Key Insights on Housing Supply, Employment, and House Prices


Nationwide, the number of housing starts fell by 5.1% over the month of August 2020 to 1,416,000. Single-family starts rose by 4.1% to 1,021,000. Multifamily starts fell by 22.7% to 395,000. Over the past 12 months, total housing starts are up by 2.8%. Single-family starts are up by 12.1% but multifamily starts are down by 15.2%.

In the Midwest Region, which includes the state of Ohio, the number of housing starts rose by 28.4% over the month of August 2020 to 267,000. Single-family starts rose by 20.0% to 162,000. Multifamily starts rose by 43.8% to 105,000. Over the past 12 months, total housing starts are up by 40.5%. Single-family starts are up by 23.7% and multifamily starts are up by 78.0%.

On a year-to-date basis, total permits over the past 12 months ending in August 2020 are up by 20.4% across the state of Ohio to 17,969. Single-family permits are up by 15.4% to 11,926 and multifamily permits are up by 31.5% to 6,043. Throughout the Dayton region, total permits year-to-date are down by 6.3% to 1,497. Single-family permits are down by 2.3% to 1,438.


The United States lost 10.4 million jobs over the past year, decreasing by 6.9%. In the last month, 1.6 million jobs were gained, increasing by 1.2%.

The Midwest Region, which includes the state of Ohio, lost 2.30 million jobs over the past year, decreasing by 6.9%. In the last month, 345.3 thousand jobs were gained, increasing by 1.1%.

The state of Ohio lost 443.2 thousand jobs over the past year decreasing by 7.9%. In the last month, 52.6 thousand jobs were gained, increasing by 1.0%.


Nationwide, house prices grew by 0.1% over the second quarter of 2020 and over the past year house prices across the country rose by 4.0%. At its low, reached in the third quarter of 2011, house prices in the US were 18.4% below their second quarter of 2007 peak level. Currently, house prices are 20.6 above their boom-related peak level.

Across the East North Central Division, a component of the Midwest Region which includes the state of Ohio, house prices declined by 0.1% over the second quarter of 2020 but over the past year house prices in the Division rose by 3.5%. At its low, reached in the third quarter of 2012, house prices in the East North Central Division were 16.7% below their fourth quarter of 2006 peak level. Currently, house prices in the East North Central Division are 13.9% above their boom-related peak level.

Across the state of Ohio, house prices were unchanged over the second quarter of 2020 but over the past year house prices in the state rose by 4.5%. At its low, reached in the fourth quarter of 2012, house prices in Ohio were 12.9% below their third quarter of 2005 peak level. Currently, house prices in Ohio are 18.4% above their boom-related peak level.


According to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), sentiment among builders for the single family housing market nationally rose by 5 points to 83 over the month of September 2020. Over the past year, the HMI has risen by 15 points from 68 in September 2019. Any value above 50 means more builders are seeing improvement rather than decline. The HMI fell to a low of 8 in January 2009.

Sentiment among builders for the single-family housing market in the Midwest Region, which includes the state of Ohio, rose by 9 points to 78 over the month of September 2020. Over the past year, builder sentiment in the Midwest Region has risen by 20 points from 58 in September 2019. Builder confidence in the Midwest Region fell to a low of 6 in December 2008.


This overview was prepared by the Economics and Housing Policy Department of the National Association of Home Builders.

Additional information including market research, economic forecasts, and housing statistics can be obtained, by subscription, through its website, or its daily economics blog

Contact Chief Economist Dr. Robert Dietz ( or (202) 266-8285) for more information or to schedule a presentation on national and local economic issues from NAHB's team of economists.


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