New Report Tackles Housing Shortages

April 17, 2018
House exterior
Photo: Unsplash/Bernard Hermant

Development advocacy group Up for Growth National Coalition released a report finding that 22 states across the U.S. and the District of Columbia have not kept up with economic growth since 2000.

The group's commissioned research says that there is a total shortage of 7.3 million units in these states and in D.C. “The artificial barriers to housing production aren’t constrained just to California,” said Mike Kingsella, executive director of Up For Growth. “As we dug into the numbers behind this, at a local market level, we’re seeing a pronounced affordability challenge in places like even Arizona.” Jordan Rappaport, economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, says indeed that home construction per household is at about the lowest level in the 60 years since records were first kept, reports. 

Conducted by ECONorthwest, the report examines how much housing was built in the U.S. compared with economic drivers of housing demand like home prices, population growth, and incomes. It compares production from 2000 to 2015 with rates of production since the 1970s. Economists who have reviewed the report caution that measuring the present need for housing by extrapolating from past production is imperfect. Western states that were sparsely populated 60 years ago and experienced huge building booms in the latter half of the 20th century may not need to build at such a rapid clip today.

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