Housing Cannot Match Population Growth

Housing prices outpace wage growth while housing supply fails to meet population demand.
December 9, 2004, 2pm PST | Abhijeet Chavan | @legalaidtech
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A new report by the Fannie Mae Foundation and the Urban Institute says that housing prices in the Washington region continue to rise faster that wages, further widening the housing affordablility gap. Between 2002 and 2002, wages increased by an average of 9 percent. During the same period, median home prices increased by 37 percent. In adddition, "Housing in the Nation's Capital" says that more people are moving to the area than there are housing units to accomodate them. "Unbalanced and uneven growth is creating conditions that threaten our quality of life," Stacey D. Stewart, the Fannie Mae Foundation's president and chief executive. While the Washington metropolitan region boasts the lowest unemployment rate of any metropolitan region its size, most of those jobs are concentrated in the western areas of Montgomery County, Maryland and Fairfax County, Virginia. Efforts to create more jobs in eastern areas such as Prince George's County, Maryland will be difficult because regional planners and politicians will have to "reach across lines of race, class and political jurisdiction," says Majorie Turner, an Urban Institute researcher and co-author of the study.

Thanks to Peter Buryk

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Published on Thursday, December 9, 2004 in The Washington Post
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