The National Association of Home Builders urged the Congress in a statement released on Monday to tackle the housing affordability challenges the country is facing.
“Removing regulatory barriers that contribute to the increased costs of housing will pave the way to homeownership,” said NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde. “Home builders and the residential construction community are committed to working with Congress to ensure homeownership is within reach of hard working-families.”
Rising costs from excessive regulation, a shortage in construction workers, and tariffs on $10 billion worth of building materials have continued to take a toll on housing affordability, according to NAHB. Currently, 25% of the price of a single-family home and 30% of the cost of a multifamily property go toward regulatory requirements.
Even with lower mortgage interest rates, housing affordability did not improve much from last year. Approximately 61% of new and existing homes were affordable to an average household, according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index. The Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy Survey revealed that the current homeownership rate (64.2%) is still below the 25-year average rate (66.3%).
It takes three months or longer for over half (53%) of buyers to look for a home in Q1 of 2019, NAHB’s Housing Trends Report revealed. Home buyers consider steep home prices as the main barrier to homeownership. The majority (78%) of them said they could afford fewer than half of the homes available in their markets.