Housing News Roundup: January 25, 2018
Mayors Are Concerned about the Lack of Affordable Housing
According to a new survey of mayors from 115 US cities, more than half of mayors say that high housing costs are the main reason residents are moving out of their cities. Many worry about the price of housing, and only 13 percent say they believe their city’s housing stock meets residents’ needs. “This is true of mayors of rich cities and poor cities and cities across the country. It’s not just coastal cities,” said Katherine Levine Einstein, the assistant professor of political science at Boston University who conducted the survey.
Source: Washington Post
Which Housing Markets Can Handle Amazon’s New Headquarters?
When Amazon moved to Seattle, housing prices skyrocketed. A new map produced by the Brookings Institution shows which metropolitan areas of the HQ2 finalists have the housing capacity to absorb the next headquarters. Supply is limited in expensive areas where rents are already high, such as Boston, New York, and Washington, DC, but there is space to grow in metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Chicago, and Columbus. “Amazon’s new HQ would make noticeable ripples in the largest cities,” wrote Jenny Schuetz, a fellow at Brookings’ Metropolitan Policy Program. “For smaller metros, the effect could be more like a tidal wave.”
Housing Instability Can Affect the Health of Family Members of All Ages
A new study surveyed more than 22,000 low-income families about chronic housing instability, finding that it can negatively affect the health of children and caregivers. Caregivers and children are two times more likely to be in fair or poor health than those in stable housing, and children ages 4 and younger in these families had a nearly 20 percent increased risk of hospitalization, and more than 25 percent had increased risk of developmental delays. “This is a real wake-up call that [what] we need to start thinking about is creating more affordable housing options for everyone,” said coauthor and principal investigator Megan Sandel.
Source: Pacific Standard
Wisconsin Lawmakers Consider Bill That Would Limit Housing Inspections
Wisconsin lawmakers are considering a proposal to limit regular housing inspections and make it easier to evict some tenants. The proposal would restrict inspections to blighted or high-complaint areas and prohibit reinspection of a dwelling with no problems for five years. Supporters say the bill protects landlords from unreasonable fees and local government enforcement, while opponents worry about protecting tenants’ rights under the legislation. “This bill is going to make it hard, almost impossible, for cities to crack down on slumlords,” said state representative Chris Taylor.
Source: Journal Sentinel
Construction Can’t Keep Up with Millennials’ Housing Demand
Though new residential construction, completions, and building permits rose to decade-high levels in 2017, the housing market cannot keep pace with first-time millennial homebuyer demand. The number of homes for sale fell, there was a shortage of skilled workers in the construction industry, and there were too few single-family houses. “Clearly, new construction would have to pick up substantially this year to make much of a dent in our inventory woes,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist at First American.
Source: Business Insider