On June 21, 2022 members of Congress and congressional staff were briefed on crucial association data showing the economic impact of high home prices. NAR President Leslie Rouda Smith told congressional leaders that for too many Americans the cost of buying a home remains a barrier to property ownership—a primary pathway to generational wealth-building.
NAR’s landmark 2021 report, “Housing Is Critical Infrastructure,” showed an underbuilding gap of 5.5 million units—a gap so large it would take more than a decade to correct. NAR advocates an all-of-the-above approach to closing the supply gap, including zoning reform, money for new construction, increased labor, and tax incentives to convert unused commercial space to residential.
The briefing pointed out that the racial homeownership divide grew deeper during the pandemic. NAR data shows that:
· Homeownership rate for White Americans is 72% while it is just 43% for Black Americans
· That gap is as wide today as when the Fair Housing Act began in 1968
· Additionally, student loan debt plays a factor
· About 32 million young adults are nearing their peak homebuying age. They're spending less on transportation than past generations did at their age, but they're spending more on housing and education. “Sixty percent of millennials who are not homeowners today are saying that student loan debt is one of the biggest hurdles delaying them from purchasing a home,”
· Another factor is the drop in U.S. birth rates
· You need a smaller home if you don’t have a growing family, and the other big factor is where that home is.” Households without kids may cast a wider net in their home search, seeking more affordable options, rather than limiting their search based on school districts.