Photo: Flickr

The rent is too damn high. It’s hard to find a good place to live. Why? Because they don’t exist!

Housing is a basic human need. It is in the public interest to ensure that everyone has adequate housing. What factor has the single greatest impact on the price of housing in America? The supply of housing in America. How are we doing with maintaining a healthy supply of housing available to buy in America? Bad. From the NAR, bolding ours:

Total housing inventory at the end of December dropped 11.4 percent to 1.48 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 10.3 percent lower than a year ago (1.65 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 31 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 3.2-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 3.6 months a year ago and is the lowest level since NAR began tracking in 1999.

Housing is not a luxury good. It is a necessity for everyone. Therefore, it is not okay if the price of housing outpaces the amount of money that people have to spend on housing, on a grand scale. A lack of affordable housing produces a cascade of negative economic effects on people who have to pay more than they can afford for rent. Here, via the Daily Shot, is an illustration of the current relationship between housing prices in the US, and how much people earn:

Build more housing. Tell your cities.