New Report Highlights ‘Housing Crisis’ Driven by Low Inventory

New Report Highlights ‘Housing Crisis’ Driven by Low Inventory
A house's real estate for sale sign shows the home as being "Under Contract" in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 19, 2020. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
Nicholas Dolinger

A new report argues that America is currently in the midst of a “housing crisis,” as the number of homes available fails to keep pace with surging demand for real estate, freezing many prospective homeowners out of the market under current conditions.

Last week, the non-profit organization Up for Growth released its report “Housing Underproduction in the U.S.,” which details the severe and growing imbalance between high demand and low supply for houses.

The report begins by announcing, “America is experiencing a housing crisis,” and the content of the report attempts to underscore the severity of this point. The authors note that there is a deficit of 3.8 million homes short of housing needs—twice the number from 2012, accompanied by a rapid increase in home prices making an increasingly prohibitive market.

The report marked a notable departure from previous releases from Up for Growth, as the authors made a point of using a “racial equity lens” to emphasize the racial dimension of the housing situation—9 pages of the 75-page paper are explicitly dedicated to racial politics.

The organization’s new methodology also purports to allow for more granular, local precision. The authors of this report have also chosen to rely on “publicly available” and “annually updated” data sources, with the stated intention of allowing swift and effective policy action in response to the issue.

According to the paper, the current housing crisis is a continuation of longstanding trends exacerbated sharply by the shock of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which catalyzed remote workers to move from expensive urban areas and purchase homes in the suburbs.

While the factors and circumstances driving the current real estate crunch are numerous, they tend to revolve around one key issue: a lack of inventory, which drives up prices and has recently begun to hamper the rate of home sales.

The main factor that is driving today’s high real estate prices is lack of inventory,” says Kristina Morales, a veteran realtor who heads her eponymous real estate company, told The Epoch Times. “Demand is so much higher than supply, creating hyper-competition over a single property. This competition is driving prices well above list price and ultimately increasing real estate prices.”

Expensive California

Nowhere is the housing crisis more severe than in California, the most expensive state for housing, which has seen home values skyrocket since the start of the pandemic.

Last May, median home prices in California set a new record at $898,000, more than 10 percent higher than at the same time last year and over $100,000 more than the second-runner state for most expensive median home price, Hawaii.

This trend has left home ownership off the table even for the relatively affluent residents of the Golden State, with the median home selling for more than 25 times the median annual income.

While California is the most severe case of the current housing crisis, virtually nowhere in the United States has been spared from rapidly rising real estate costs. Until housing prices begin to cool down, the main victims of this housing crisis will continue to be the middle class, whose dreams of home ownership have been put on indefinite hold as a consequence of prohibitive prices and a competitive market.