Tag Archives: rental housing

The Next Affordability Pinch

photo credit: Payton Chung

Yesterday’s home sales figures from the National Association of Realtors remind us that despite reasons for optimism, the market is not quite out of the woods. It’s important to note that the 2.6 percent slide (compared to March) is for home sales.  Continuing a multi-year trend, rental vacancy is still going down.  In short, many people who previously would have been potential homeowners are renting.  This is a big deal for affordability.  Bear with me here… 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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Some Mechanics of Housing Supply & Demand (and how lag screws it all up)

photo credit: Alanah.Montreal

A recent story on All Things Considered offers a good example of how housing markets respond to “shocks.”  The most recent shock, the mortgage crisis, shifted a lot of prospective homebuyers to put off the task of purchasing a home, instead opting for safer, short-term rental options.

In the feature, NPR reports that rents in New York fell immediately following the financial crisis, which makes sense.  In the short-run, many people have less income they’re willing to put toward rentals.  But over the intermediate run (i.e. now), we’ve got a different market of consumers, many looking for spaces as renters, not homeowners. Continue reading

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Planning for Affordability: Special Districts

photo credit: Billy Hathorn

A recent article by Charlottesville Tomorrow featured a major housing issue for college towns: where to put students.  Students are willing to live about anywhere, so long as it’s within walking distance to campus (or well-serviced by transit).  This means they are also willing to pay a wide variety of rents for housing.

This can be a challenge for neighborhoods.  As owners recognize the guaranteed student housing market, many change or convert their properties to meet this demand.  This can be good for students and landlords alike.  But it also puts pressure on neighborhoods who want to remain homeowners.   Continue reading

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The “Paradox” of Housing Recovery

Photo credit: Sean O'Flaherty

Yesterday, Suzy Khimm of the Washington Post posted an article about the frustrating, yet logical paradox of today’s housing market:

“There’s a seeming paradox at the heart of the housing crisis: housing is more affordable than ever, but potential homebuyers remain skittish and banks have dramatically tightened their lending standards.” Continue reading

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