Tag Archives: indicators

Lessons Learned: Local Markets Matter

New development outside Colorado Springs, CO

This is kind of a “Duh” sort of lesson, but every community we visited was its own unique case of why local housing markets matter.  Even between communities that had tight housing markets, the conditions that create an affordability squeeze aren’t the same. Continue reading

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Stop Hating On the Housing Market

photo credit: Derek Jensen (Tysto)

We’ve heard plenty of reasons to be pessimistic about the housing market.  Tight credit markets, overbuilt supply, and high vacancy rates are just a few things I’ve covered.  Before you lose all confidence, let’s consider a more optimistic perspective from William H. Lucy, professor of urban and environmental planning at the University of Virginia. Continue reading

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BLS: Consumers Spending Less on Housing

photo credit: BLS (USDL-11-139) http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cesan.pdf

A couple posts back, I showed how housing affordability has been challenged during the last decade, using the places along the NC2SD Bike & Build route as subjects.  Across many communities, the costs of housing have increased more rapidly than household incomes, squeezing out potential homeowners.

We can trace lines to some of the more obvious effects, like decreased homeownership and increased renting.  But what about a more intermediate figure (versus own/rent), such as consumer spending on housing? Continue reading

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Owner Costs Rise, Incomes Don’t Keep Up

NC2SD route stops, organized by a ratio of affordability: Change in Median Selected Monthly Owner Costs (SMOC) / Change in Median Owner Income. The heavy black line indicates a ratio of 1.0, while the purple dashed lines show the NC2SD and national averages. Places with a green background experienced greater increases in income than owner costs; the red background indicates the converse.

[Part of a series on the 2012 NC2SD Bike & Build route]

It goes without saying that most prices increase over time, and real estate is a particular investment where you may even hope that’s the case.  However, higher real estate prices could also mean higher owner costs, ranging from larger monthly mortgage payments to additional repairs or maintenance.  As long as incomes rise along with home values, affordability is not necessarily hindered.   Continue reading

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More Building, More Affordability? Not For These Cities.

Plotting changes in occupied housing units against changes in total housing units helps illustrate the housing market's supply-demand relationship. Green/Red markers indicate places that More/Less affordable (see yesterday's post for a definition), and the size of marker represents the relative gap size between income and affordability (either positive or negative). The dashed line is where every unit of housing added becomes occupied, 2000-2010.

If you’ve looked at any sort of news media during the last several months, you’ve probably heard or read about the nation’s housing market.  Housing as an industry includes way more than buyers and sellers – there are developers, construction workers, banks, land owners, local governments, and probably more that I’m forgetting.  The issue of affordable housing is inextricably linked to this larger housing market, and as we’ve heard and read, it’s been a rough couple of years. Continue reading

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