When I compare news headlines on the housing market from the last few months to those I read in the beginning of the Great Recession, I am encouraged by glimmers of good news. Even the use of the term “recovery” indicates there is cause for hope. However, the results of a fall 2012 survey I recently read on Long Island residents’ opinions on the local economy and housing post-recession, by Stony Brook University’s Center for Survey Research, gave me pause.
|Housing starts are up, but enough to meet demand?|
This survey is a reminder that, while the housing crisis clearly contributed to worsening housing affordability around the country, improvements in the housing market do not necessarily translate to improved housing affordability. As a matter of fact, in many high-priced markets, a property value recovery coupled with stagnant wage growth and an inadequate supply of new housing has actually hurt affordability. There is still a great deal of work to be done to ensure that all households have access to adequate and affordable housing.
I am encouraged by the conversations surrounding the release of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Commission report and its recommended reforms to better meet the housing needs of all Americans, particularly seniors and low- and moderate-income families. Hopefully these conversations will lead to action in order to better address issues of housing affordability.