23 June 2016

Jimmy McMillan for President

Yet more evidence that the rent is too damn high:
A popular narrative of the U.S. housing market has been that big city prices are locking out young buyers, feeding a cycle in which a growing number of people are forced to rent at ever higher rates as demand overwhelms supply. Throw in the fact that wages haven’t kept pace, and you have a world where a wide swath of Americans can't save enough to ever buy that first home.

The reality may be a bit more complicated. It's true that, when combined with a lack of government support for affordable housing, this situation has pushed the number of cash-poor renters to a new high. Some 26 percent of U.S. renters paid at least half their income to landlords in 2014, up from 20 percent in 2001, according to the State of the Nation’s Housing report, published on Wednesday by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.
Unfortunately much of our economic policy has conflated price increases in real estate prices with economic prosperity, which has led to shelter become increasingly difficult for ordinary people to obtain.

We need to stop viewing housing and real estate as a way to generate returns that exceed inflation, and we need to discourage unproductive speculation in real estate.  (Full disclosure, I am speaking against my own interest as a homeowner with a 30 year fixed rate mortgage)


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