Jun 19, 2021

US Housing Market Is Short 5.5 Million Homes

Home prices are going though the roof because supply has not kept up with demand.  In many markets, homes are selling within days of listing and often above list price in bidding wars.  Clearly,  we need more houses of all types across the country.  In places where land is scarce that means more high rise living.  Certainly, 4 or 5 story apartments and condos would be a good solution.  1,000 - 2,000 square foot dwellings would meet the needs of most couples and even young families.  The notion of a single family home on an 8,000 - 10,000 square foot lot may end up being a luxury.  Cities should rezone older areas to allow for higher density housing as a solution to add housing units in desirable locations.  

Obsolete commercial properties should be torn down and replaced by housing of all types.  This will involve rezoning to multi use residential with mixed use commercial so stores and other amenities within walking distance could be the wave of the future.  We have to create more affordable housing for singles, couples and young families.  Government has a role to play too.  Adding so many regulations adds to the cost of building.  We do need common sense regulations; but is time to eliminate unnecessary burdensome regulations, the cost of which just gets passed along in higher home prices.  California is a case in point.  It is estimated that city, county and state laws add $50,000 - $100,000 to the price of a home.  This just is not workable in a state with very high prices anyway. 

We may also see some situations where families actually go back to shared living.  Grandpa and Grandma could end up living with children.  Years ago, extended families always lived together.  It is  not the end of the world if it is needed.  We are going to have to get creative to build the 5.5 million housing units that are needed today.