The missing middle construction sector includes development of medium-density housing, such as townhouses, duplexes and other small multifamily properties, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
The multifamily segment of the missing middle (apartments in 2- to 4-unit properties) has disappointed since the Great Recession, wrote Robert Dietz from NAHB. For the third quarter of 2023, there were just 3,000 2- to 4-unit housing unit construction starts. This is down from a year prior.
As a share of all multifamily production, 2- to 4-unit development was just above 3% of the total for the third quarter. In contrast, from 2000 to 2010, such home construction made up a little less than 11% of total multifamily construction. Construction of the missing middle has clearly lagged during the post-Great Recession period and will continue to do so without zoning reform focused on light-touch density.