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In a survey conducted for the National Association of Home Builders, 77% of respondents report a housing affordability crisis in the communities where they live.
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This article first appeared in the May/June 2024 issue of Pro Builder.

Eight out of 10 Americans say their city and county officials should do more to encourage the production of housing that’s affordable to low- and moderate-income households, according to a recent national survey conducted by the polling firm Morning Consult on behalf of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Morning Consult conducted the online survey of 20,041 respondents from April 16 to 23, 2024. The survey has a margin of error of ±1%.

The survey found that more than three out of four respondents (77%) report a housing affordability crisis in the communities where they live, and a little more than half (51%) think their elected representative in Congress is not doing enough to address housing affordability at the national level.

The U.S. faces a nationwide shortage of 1.5 million housing units. The chronic shortage of both rental and for-sale housing is driving up prices as the supply of new housing fails to keep pace with demand. The poll asked respondents to consider potential policy solutions to the ongoing housing affordability crisis, for which they showed varying levels of support.

Support for Affordable Housing Solutions

The poll, which cuts across regional, demographic, political, and socioeconomic lines, found that:

  • 80% of respondents said policymakers should consider the effects of new laws and regulations on housing affordability.
  • 65% said they support a proposal to replace the mortgage interest deduction with an annual tax credit for mortgage interest that could be widely claimed by middle-class homeowners.
  • 74% of respondents said they support government incentives for private builders and developers to encourage production of more housing that is affordable to low- and moderate-income households.
  • 64% said they would support incentives that would encourage local governments to ease zoning regulations that prevent construction of more affordable housing.
  • 56% of respondents agree it is important to create more medium-density housing that is affordable to moderate-income households, younger households, and first-time homebuyers.

It’s clear that housing concerns are a key issue this election year. Voters are demanding that their elected officials take action to advance policies that will enable builders to increase the production of much needed housing.


Single-Family Build-to-Rent Starts See Year-Over-Year Increase

With mortgage rates near 40-year highs and showing no signs of abating, the end of Q1 2024 saw year-over-year gains in single-family build-to-rent (SFB2R) construction. Analysis by NAHB economists of the Census Bureau’s Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design shows there were approximately 18,000 SFB2R starts during the Q1 2024. This is 20% higher than the first quarter of 2023. 

The current four-quarter moving average of market share (8%) is higher than the historical average of 2.7% (1992-2012). Over the last four quarters, 80,000 SFB2R homes began construction. That is almost a 16% increase compared with the 69,000 estimated SFB2R starts in the previous four quarters. It is important to note that these production estimates include only homes built and held by the builder for rental purposes and exclude homes that are sold to another party for rental purposes. This additional production may represent another 3% to 5% of single-family starts, based on NAHB review of industry surveys. It’s also worth noting that tight financial conditions have dampened investor demand for single-family rental units, both new and existing.


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