In this week’s Charts of the Week, we focus on some research related to housing policy. For more, visit the Housing Markets & Finance topic.
POORER AMERICANS SPEND MORE ON HOUSING THAN WEALTHIER AMERICANS
Jenny Schuetz observes that the poorest households spend more than 60 percent of their income on housing, compared to the top three quintiles, for whom housing costs are less than 30 percent of household spending. “While housing affordability has long been a problem for low-income families,” she writes, “middle-income families are increasingly facing affordability challenges, especially in urban areas with strong labor markets.”
MOST NEW HOMES BUILT ARE SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES
In a recent report from the Center for Washington Area Studies, the authors show that over the past 20 years, the Washington, D.C. Capital Region has added nearly twice as many people as housing units. The majority of housing that has been constructed, they point out, is single-family structures, a pattern seen across the nation. “Because single-family homes use more land per housing unit than apartments in multifamily buildings,” the authors write, “they are more expensive to rent or buy.”
HOMES IN BLACK NEIGHBORHOODS ARE VALUED LOWER THAN HOMES IN WHITE NEIGHBORHOODS
Andre Perry, Jonathan Rothwell, and David Harshbarger explore the problem of undervaluation of housing in black neighborhoods. “In the average U.S. metropolitan area,” they write, “homes in neighborhoods where the share of the population is 50 percent black are valued at roughly half the price as homes in neighborhoods with no black residents.”