October 26, 2018

New Analysis of Changes in Rental Housing Supply and Demand at Various Income Levels

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  • A new analysis by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) compares changes in the rental supply at various rent levels with changes in the number of renter households at various income levels. It finds that while a growing number of low-income renters are competing for a shrinking number of affordable units, the rapid expansion in high-income renters is outnumbering increase in high-rent units as well. JCHS points out that between 2006 and 2016, the number of renter households earning under $26,000 per year (in 2016 dollars) grew by 1.8 million, but the number of rental units that would be affordable to these households at 30 percent of their income dropped by 500,000. JCHS also explains that although the number of units renting for $2,000 or more grew by 1.65 million between 2006 and 2016, that fell far short of the 2.9 million increase in high-income renter households able to afford those units without facing cost burden. (JCHS, October 26) 
     
  • An article in The Wall Street Journal suggests that Opportunity Zones across the country have been witnessing spikes in property sales activity as “eager investors studied maps and bought property, anticipating that prices would rise when the new funds put the money to work.” According to an analysis by Real Capital Analytics, sales of development sites in Opportunity Zones nationwide have shot up 80 percent in the first three quarters of 2018, compared with the same period last year. The article notes that in some Opportunity Zones, owners have doubled their asking prices, expecting higher demand for community development investments. (WSJ, October 23)  
     
  • HUD has charged Virginia and North Carolina landlords with discrimination on the basis of disability. Landlords in Wisconsin and Ohio face similar charges, in those cases  for refusing to rent to a family because they have children and for declining the request of a resident with disabilities to have a designated parking space, respectively. These cases will be heard by a United States Administrative Law Judge unless any party prefers to move the case to federal district court. 
     
  • According to the Commerce Department, new home sales in September dropped 5.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 553,000, the lowest level since December 2016. Sales of previously owned homes fell 3.4 percent in September from the previous month. The Wall Street Journal suggests that tight inventory, skilled construction labor shortages and rising mortgage rates are driving up home prices and pricing some potential buyers out of the market. (WSJ, October 24)

Upcoming Webinars 

  • On Wednesday October 31, Enterprise Community Partners will hold a webinar on "Creative Placemaking: Filling the Void Between Development and Artists." This webinar will discuss with Kaziah Haviland, director of design and planning at Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, and Lea Oxenhandler, Rose architectural fellow at People's Emergency Center, how they were able to bridge the connection between development and artists through identifying resources and making the case for including the work in the budget. Register here for the webinar.
     
  • On Thursday, November 15, Enterprise will hold a webinar to discuss the newly released Opportunity360 – Listen: The Community Engagement Toolkit, an online tool that brings together more than 40 resources to assist and enable effective community engagement. This webinar will feature a panel of experts and practitioners from across the country who specialize in community development. Register here for the webinar

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