Where Have All The Houses Gone?

I feel like I want to bust out some Paula Cole right about now.  🎶Where have all the houses goneeeeahannnnnn! 🎶  I was the Dawson’s Creek generation after all.  But this is a very important question being asked by Emily Badger and Quoctrung Bui at The New York Times.  Where have all the houses gone?

Of course, the pandemic is playing a part in this, but it is nowhere near the complete story:

– Ok, Boomer.  Badger and Bui argue the pandemic could be temporarily delaying an important step in the property ladder, “A majority of homeowners in America are baby boomers — a group at heightened risk from the coronavirus. If many of them have been reluctant to move out and downsize over the past year, that makes it hard for other families behind them to move in and upgrade.”

– Government.  I know this going to be shocking to some, but the government could be manipulating the housing market.  Foreclosure moratoriums might sound great, but they are wreaking having on housing supply, “While that government policy…has been a lifeline for many families who’ve lost income, it has also meant that some homes that most likely would have come on the market over the past year, either through foreclosure or a forced sale, did not.”

– Construction industry.  The industry never really recovered from 2008 and NIMBY’s are not making the situation any easier, “For more than a decade, less housing has been built relative to historical averages. The housing crash decimated the home building industry and pushed many construction workers into other jobs. Local building restrictions and neighbor objections have slowed new construction.”

Read More @ NYTIMES.com