More Proof That We’re Going To Need To Build A Lot More Homes

2012 is likely to be the year which thoroughly debunks the idea that America still has the huge pile of empty houses that will doom the construction industry for years to come.

We’ve made the case here that housing starts almost have to pick up, just based on population growth and a return to normalcy in the patterns of household formation.

Here’s more bullish news on the residential construction front.

The apartment vacancy rate has fallen to its lowest level since 2001, per Calculated Risk.

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[credit provider=”Calculated Risk” url=””]

Now, multi-family construction has already been on the rise for a while now, but the trend suggests this will probably continue as A) we’re below our recent averages and B) there’s probably a secular trend towards more people living in apartment-style units, rather than standalone homes.

On a related note, 2011 was the first year since 2005 that the residential construction added jobs.