No End in Sight to U.S. Housing Shortage

Despite recent cooling in the overheated U.S. housing market, high costs and labor and supply shortages are causing continuing hardship for potential homebuyers and renters.

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July 26, 2022, 9:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

California Houses

Frantik at en.wikipedia / Wikimedia Commons

The housing shortage in the United States is likely to get worse before it gets better, writes Sylvan Lane in The Hill. While high interest rates have slowed inflation and cooled the housing market, high mortgage rates, supply shortages, and “a historically low inventory” mean that many potential homebuyers are being pushed into the highly competitive rental market even as builders slow construction and rents rise to historic levels. “While prices have started to fall in some of the country’s hottest local housing markets, the median home price still rose to $416,000 in June, up 13.4 percent from last year.” Meanwhile, median monthly in the United States rent hit $2,000 in May.

“The Fed is also hoping to curb the economic activity that comes with home sales and prompt homeowners to spend less money as the value of their house declines. Those factors combined should help reduce pressure on prices throughout the economy, bringing inflation down.” But higher interest rates will also prevent developers from building enough new housing units to meet demand, and a labor shortage in the construction industry is contributing to the slowing building rate. According to Lane, all of these factors will likely contribute to a continuing shortage of affordable housing.

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