Stacked Lumber and Blueprints at a Construction Site

Connecticut’s major urban regions were short nearly 20,000 homes to meet current residents’ immediate needs right before the pandemic, a new study claims.

Advocacy group Up for Growth released new estimates earlier this week of how many homes were missing from metro areas across the country as of 2019, even before demand for new for-sale homes and rentals exploded during the pandemic. In total, the nation is missing 3.79 million homes, the group said, based on its analysis of Census Bureau data.

It’s the latest attempt to quantify a decade-plus of under-building across the nation that has sent home prices and apartment rents to new highs, with Connecticut’s median year-to-date single-family sale price alone jumping from $249,900 in May 2019 to $334,900 in May of this year according to The Warren Group, publisher of The Commercial Record.

“As people migrate in search of jobs, education and economic opportunities, the demand for housing in the most populous and economically productive regions of the U.S. has far exceeded the production of new homes,” Up for Growth CEO Mike Kingsella said in a statement. “This is resulting in America’s most urgent economic, environmental and social equity crisis.”

In Greater Hartford alone, 4,689 homes were missing as of 2019, or 0.9 percent of the region’s total housing stock.

In the New Haven area, the gap between 2019’s current needs and housing inventory was 1,500 houses, or 0.4 percent of all homes.

And in Fairfield County, 12,980 homes were missing, 3.5 percent of housing stock. That put the Bridgeport-Norwalk-Stamford region on par with much bigger metro areas by share of housing stock missing, like Boston (3.9 percent missing), New York City (4.4 percent missing) and Philadelphia (3.6 percent missing).

Unlike other estimates, Up for Growth only calculated the number of homes required to meet a metro area’s needs as of 2019 – the city of New Haven, alone, saw its population jump by 3 percent between 2010 and 2020, according to the Census Bureau. Up for Growth’s calculations do not account for population growth expected from births, domestic moves or international migration.