Posts Tagged ‘housing studies’

Rental Costs Rise Faster than Incomes

January 7th, 2014 Comments off

According to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, over 11 million renters with minimum wage incomes of $19,000 competed for 6.9 million affordable apartments in 2011. Renters with annual incomes of $15,000 must find a unit for $375 a month for it to be affordable. The center considers housing to be affordable if it costs 30 percent or less of household income. During the four years from 2007 to 2011, Harvard researchers found 3.3 million people became renters, although only 225,000 additional people obtained housing assistance. As MHProNews has learned, rent increases have grown faster than incomes, and as more Americans turn away from homeownership to renting, the competition for rental units increases and so do the rents. Of the nation’s housing stock, the number of rentals rose from 31 percent in 2004 to 35 percent in 2012, while vacancy rates fell from 10.6 percent in 2009 to 8.5 percent in 2013, according to

You can see an analysis and download the full report, from this story on, linked here.

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Mortgage Debt: Problematic for Retirees

September 27th, 2013 Comments off

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) says 30 percent of homeowners over 70 have mortgages to pay off. A study for 2001 reports eight percent of owners over 75 were carrying mortgage debt. More homeowners over 65 continue to pay on their homes into their retirement years, and that may make it more difficult for them to remain in their homes long term. Health care costs, property taxes and home maintenance will likely rise against incomes that rise little, if at all. Eric Belsky, managing director for Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, states the number of households with persons over 65 will rise by 11 million over the next ten years. As reports, reverse mortgages may become more prominent. The homeowner borrows against home equity, but must have enough resources to maintain insurance and taxes, or they could lose the home. Most reverse mortgages are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), MHProNews has learned. A study of 32,000 people who sought information about reverse mortgages from 2006 to 2011 will be released in Nov. 2013.

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Most Housing Market News is Good, except…

August 1st, 2013 Comments off

The latest data from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies reports the rise in housing prices, while lauded by many, is driving many potential home buyers out of the market because incomes are not rising along with home prices. From 2001 to 2011 the number of households paying over 50 percent of their income for housing rose 6.7 million, an increase of 49 percent. This rise in households (includes renters) severely burdened has hit record highs, just as millions of federal rent subsidies will expire over the next ten years. As MHProNews has learned from, the market is demanding one million new residential units annually. If construction cannot keep up this pace, home prices and rents will continue to rise, and if incomes do not then rise, the housing cost burden will spread to more households.

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Center for Housing Studies says Housing Recovery is Real

July 29th, 2013 Comments off

While the Census Bureau says home ownership is at its lowest point in 15 years, Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies reports “After across-the-board declines in 2011, all major house price indexes registered significant increases in 2012.” As documentation, the Center says the March 2013 median house price was up 11.6 percent over March 2012, and as of April 2013, home prices have risen in all except two states and in 94 of 100 major metropolitan markets. Between Q4 2011 and Q4 2012, the number of underwater borrowers dropped 1.7 million to 10.4 million, which represents 23 percent of all mortgage holders. Further, as informs MHProNews, the rise in prices resulted from increased sales and fewer listings. April 2013 marked the 34th consecutive month of rent increases as ranked by the Consumer Price Index, and last year rental households grew by 1.1 million. Eric S. Belsky, the joint center’s managing director, says, “Even as historically low interest rates have helped make the monthly cost of owning a home more favorable than any time in the past 40 years, the national homeownership rate fell for the eighth straight year in 2012.” He adds, noting the challenges still ahead, “Long-term vacancies are at elevated levels in a number of places, millions of owners are still struggling to make their mortgage payments, and credit conditions for home buyers remain extremely tight.”

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Plenty of Hardship in the Land of Plenty

July 6th, 2013 Comments off

Adding to a story we posted July 4, 2013 from Harvard University’s annual Joint Center for Housing Studies, the report reveals 42.3 million families (37 percent of the nation’s total) pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing, including 20.6 million who pay more than 50 percent of their income for housing. Between 2007 and 2011, 2.4 million homes changed from owner-occupied to renter-occupied, well above the 900,000 rental unit starts during these four years. 258,000 new rentals came onto the market in 2012, the highest number since 2004, as MHProNews has learned from thewestsidegazette. Meanwhile, the report states racial disparity in homeownership continues: White homeownership stands at 73 percent, but only 44 percent of African-Americans and 46 percent of Hispanics are homeowners. In addition, in 2011 despite historic low interest rates, African-Americans were denied mortgage loans 37 percent of the time, while the rate for white borrowers was 14 percent.

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Harvard Study Cites Critical Shortage of Affordable Housing

July 5th, 2013 Comments off

According to the State of the Nation’s Housing report released by Harvard University’s Joint Center on Housing Studies, the housing recovery is well underway, but the millions of borrowers delinquent on their mortgages or underwater continue to pull at the edges of the recovery. In addition, the number of renter households grew in 2012 by 1.1 million, the second year of double-digit growth in the rental market. As that sector increases, homeownership declines, MHProNews has learned from appliancemagazine. The report states, “With rising home prices helping to revive household balance sheets and expanding residential construction adding to job growth, the housing sector is finally providing a much needed boost to the economy. But long-term vacancies are at elevated levels in a number of places, millions of owners are still struggling to make their mortgage payments, and credit conditions for homebuyers remain extremely tight. It will take time for these problems to subside. Given the profoundly positive impact that decent and affordable housing can have on the lives of individuals, families, and entire communities, efforts to address these urgent concerns as well as longstanding housing affordability challenges should be among the nation’s highest priorities.”

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Harvard’s Housing Study: Affordable Senior Housing may be Scarce

June 28th, 2013 Comments off

Although the aging-in-place movement for seniors is very strong, an estimated 16 million senior households will be relocating within the next decade, while the number of 65-and-older households is estimated to increase by 9.8 million in the same time span. “Most of these households will opt to age in place and may therefore need to modify their homes to accommodate their changing needs. But a large number will look for different housing opportunities, creating demand for new types of units in communities where they currently live as well as in the areas that traditionally attract retirees,” according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. Their State of the Nation’s Housing report for 2013 says home modification, transportation networks and other supportive services will also have to be reconfigured to meet the needs of aging seniors. As MHProNews has learned from seniorhousingnews, many seniors are entering retirement with little savings, which may make it challenging to find suitable housing. The report concludes, “Expanding the range of housing options available to the country’s growing senior population will require concerted efforts from both the public and private sectors.”

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Partners Prowling for Workforce Housing

May 10th, 2013 Comments off

According to CPExecutive, Canyon Capital Realty Advisors and Citi are partnering in a venture to acquire modular workforce housing in underserved areas across the country. Backed by $800 million, the Canyon Multifamily Impact Fund is targeting properties priced from $20 million to $90 million. “Amid increased housing costs across the United States, the need for quality workforce housing near employment centers is higher than ever,” said Dan Millman, principal at Canyon Capital. The fund will manage the properties. Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies informs MHProNews in 2001 there was a shortage of 2.4 million affordable units for low-income residents, but that number more than doubled to a 5.1 million unit shortage in 2010.

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Housing Expert: Modify the Mortgage Interest Deduction

April 30th, 2013 Comments off

In an interview in Forbes, Nicolas P. Retsinas, former Federal Housing Commissioner and Director Emeritus of Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, says the housing recovery is being spurred by new household formation, which in turn has been sparked by the improving job market, and abnormally low interest rates. He says while the administration is trying to accelerate the housing recovery, the government-sponsored enterprises (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) which insure, securitize, and guarantee 95 percent of all mortgage loans, are narrowing the credit tunnel because they do not want to lose money and be on the front page asking for a bail-out. Noting we over-encouraged homeownership, which in part led to the housing downturn, he says the mortgage interest deduction (MID) has become a sacred cow, but perhaps it is time to allow first-time homebuyers and those below a certain income only to use it, as it deprives the government of $100 billion annually. MHProNews has learned in a book Retsinas wrote, he says nearly all cultures have in their psyche the notion of homeownership, including two-thirds of American families. He says when the current demand for rentals subsides, the equilibrium will shift and homeownership will likely rise.

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Housing Becoming More Expensive

March 15th, 2013 Comments off informs MHProNews Eric Belsky, managing director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, says in 2010 more than 25 percent of renter households paid over 50 percent of their income for rent, an increase from 20 percent in 2000, putting more people at the risk of homelessness. A study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition estimates employees need to earn $18.79 an hour for rent to remain at 30 percent or less of income, but the average hourly wage is $14.32. Belsky says this often translates into insufficient money for food, healthcare, and other expenses, limiting the economic impact on the local community.

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