According to the US Commerce Department, housing starts (a measure of new-home construction) fell 4% in July. This statistic is widely regarded as an indicator of how much construction is in the works. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Northeast saw the sharpest dip in housing starts with a decline of 13.8% from June.
But we know the drop isn’t because of money or motivation to build.
According to Freddie Mac, the average rate for a 30-year mortgage is at a 3-year low. In addition, The National Association of Home Builders noted builder confidence is strong (especially for single-family homes). The drop is largely due to the low number of available affordable homes and rising construction costs.
While experts believe that this trend will likely continue into 2020, the US housing market continues to reveal an opportunity for prospective homeowners looking to build a dome home.
Unlike a conventional home, we're able to build with fewer resources and less manpower while passing those savings on to the homeowner.
Whether you're a fan of his music as a hip hop artist or disagree with his outspoken attitude and political views (or both), there is no denying Kanye West’s impact on popular culture; or his willingness to break into completely new disciplines outside of music.
His newest venture is residential subdivision in Calabasas, California made of domes.
But what's so special about a few odd shaped houses in LA?
A dome's shape and inherent structural integrity make it both stronger and more energy-efficient than a conventional family home. Domes can withstand powerful winds and strong earthquakes. Concrete domes have been known to survive flying debris as big as cars and direct hits from bombs.
Domes, in varying designs, have been used for housing in the United States for over a century.
Mickey Lukens Sr., a geodesic dome home designer and builder with 35 years experience, in response to reading about Kanye's house project said "This could be the beginnings of a monumental shift in perception regarding dome homes in the United States."
He added "What's important about what Mr. West is doing is he is helping bring awareness to dome homes as a viable housing alternative."
In a recent profile from Forbes, West revealed that this is his attempt at creating affordable housing. “He tells me they could be used as living spaces for the homeless, perhaps sunk into the ground with light filtering in through the top,” the author wrote. However, recently it has been reported that there has been issues of the domes securing the correct building permits.
Regardless of whether or not this project will be a success, the takeaway is that dome homes are increasingly gaining public recognition. According to Google Ads, Americans are Google-searching the term "dome homes" over 7,000 times a month.
Mickey concludes "Anything that sparks interest and helps people learn more about how much better domes are for homeowners versus conventional homes, the better."