The number of new condominium and homeowners associations is expected to increase by 4,500 in 2021, according to projections by the Foundation for Community Association Research. Representing nearly 25% of the housing stock in the U.S., community associations, also known as condominiums, housing cooperatives, and homeowners associations, are home to more than 73 million Americans. The 2021 projections reflect a 1.3% increase in new communities.
“Community associations, much like millions of businesses, continue to face difficult financial and operational challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the new research is a positive sign that the housing model remains strong,” says Dawn M. Bauman, CAE, executive director of the Foundation and CAI’s senior vice president of government and public affairs.
Since the 1970s, community associations have been a popular housing choice for people around the world—especially condominium buyers seeking close proximity to city centers, public transportation, and schools. Planned communities provide owners the benefit of shared amenities such as pools, walking trails, and other recreation facilities that may otherwise be unattainable. According to the National and State Statistical Review for Community Association Data, published by the Foundation, planned communities give local municipalities the ability to transfer the obligation to provide services—trash and recycling removal, snow removal, streetscape beautification, sidewalk and street maintenance and lighting, stormwater management, and more—to homeowners.
In the 2020 Homeowner Satisfaction Survey, a biennial, nationwide report conducted by Zogby Analytics that provides a better understanding of today’s condominiums and homeowners associations—residents said the following about their community association experience:
- 89% of residents rate their overall community association experience as very good or good (70%) or neutral (19%).
- 89% say members of their elected governing board “absolutely” or “for the most part” serve the best interests of their communities.
- 74% say their community managers provide value and support to residents and their associations.
- 94% say their association’s rules protect and enhance property values (71%) or have a neutral effect (23%); only 4% say the rules harm property values.
“The Foundation’s research is essential to the future of the community association housing model, as a trusted source for industry leaders, developers, legislators, and other housing stakeholders,” says Thomas M. Skiba, CAE CAI’s chief executive officer. “We are optimistic that the 2021 housing growth reinforces that comfort, convenience, and community—three attributes of community associations—remain essential to today’s homebuyer.”