National Association of Realtors: Underbuilding has led to ‘acute shortage’ of housing and ‘affordability crisis’ in the United States, approximately 5 million more units are needed to ease shortage.

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The NAR is the least-reliable narrator on the housing market of all time, but even a broken clock is right twice a day. Allowing municipalities to choke supply has been the real failing – everything else wasn’t “great” for driving prices to the moon but nothing is as impactful as every weird flavor of NIMBY – rich people/antigentrification/historical preservation/parking advocates etc etc etc


I lived in the Bay Area. The amount of NIMBYs there was astounding. I’ve seen proposals like demolishing a dead mall to build housing and office space get shut down by NIMBYs who argued that “there would be too much traffic.” The mall is still completely dead and nothing has been built so far. SF is even worse and building housing there is even more impossible. Couple that with economically bad policies like rent control and you can see why the Bay Area has a severe housing shortage.


You can’t just build more though. Underbuilding exists because of local zoning laws and permitting regulations. These will never change so long as local municipalities are allowed to determine their own zoning rules.


People keep calling the housing market in a bubble that will crash any second, or bill it as “temporary inflation”. With such a supply demand mismatch (at least in certain markets) I have a hard time seeing that outside a broad economic downturn and deflationary episode that forces people to throw them on the market.


It was alluded to in the article and also mentioned in the comments that the NAR has a bias towards increasing the supply of housing, meaning more houses to sell = better for realtors. Couldn’t the argument also be made that a good portion of the realtor community would prefer supply continue to be constrained? Since supply constraints = higher prices = higher closing costs per sale? Not trying to be a contrarian. Someone please point out the flaw in my thought process