The United States faces historic housing shortages, rooted in the recession and local zoning restrictions

Citing May 2021 research by Freddie Mac that estimated the nationwide housing shortage at 3.8 million total units, a recent article by Chris Arnold for NPR looks at the historic housing shortage in the United States. United and identifies roots that go back to the Great Recession and the mortgage crisis of 2008.

“It was the worst housing market crash since the Great Depression. Many homebuilders went bankrupt,” Arnold writes of the fallout from the Great Recession. “A few years later, as Americans started buying more homes again, construction remained below normal. And this construction slump continued for more than a decade.”

According to the article, the construction slump that sparked the Great Recession is currently being exacerbated by delayed and expensive building materials. Add to all of these factors the poor timing of the arrival of the largest generation ever to enter the home buying market, and the result is the current housing market, with record price increases and a historic lack of stocks.

The homebuilding industry is scrambling to keep up, but challenges remain, according to the article. Among the current challenges hampering the industry’s ability to build up supply to catch up with demand, according to the sources cited in the article, are the lack of skilled labor and the lack of capacity for construction homes. row and other entry-level homes within local zoning codes.

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