It’s Bad and Getting Worse

( – In a highly concerning analysis, a real estate corporation has concluded that the United States is facing a giant US housing shortage of millions of homes, and it’s only going to get worse in the next few years.

In the United States, the deficit in available housing stock surged to 4.5 million units over the course of 2021 to 2022, based on recent findings by real estate database company Zillow.

This marked escalation in the housing shortage continues despite significant residential construction activity spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Initially, the shortfall was recorded at 4.3 million homes in 2021. This persistent increase underscores a deepening crisis in the housing market, The Hill points out in a report.

“The simple fact is there are not enough homes in this country, and that’s pushing homeownership out of reach for too many families,” commented Orphe Divounguy, a senior economist at Zillow.

Divounguy highlighted the broader implications of this housing scarcity, stressing its impact not only on potential homeowners but also on renters.

“The affordability crisis extends to renters as well, with nearly half of renter households being cost-burdened. Filling the housing shortage is the long-term answer to making housing more affordable. We are in a big hole, and it is going to take more than the status quo to dig ourselves out of it,” the economist said.

The study by Zillow also pinpointed specific urban areas where the shortages have become particularly acute.

Both Orlando and New Orleans have experienced dramatic surges in housing deficits, reporting increases of 40.2% and 39.6% respectively in 2022 alone. These statistics reflect a troubling trend in several metropolitan areas across the nation.

Reflecting on construction activity, data from the U.S. Census Bureau revealed that approximately 1.45 million homes were completed in 2023.

This figure represensts an incremental increase over the previous year, suggesting some movement toward addressing the housing supply issue.

Nevertheless, the scale of the current shortage indicates that these efforts are insufficient to meet escalating demand.

Zillow’s analysis further suggests that a strategic revision of zoning regulations could facilitate a much-needed increase in housing development.

The argument for allowing greater density in urban development is strongly supported by a broad consensus among experts.

They contend that loosening zoning restrictions stands as one of the most effective strategies for enhancing housing affordability.

Notably, such regulatory changes enjoy considerable support from both homeowners and renters, indicating a widespread recognition of the need for innovative solutions to the housing crisis.

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