“The growth in minorities and women-headed households is an important part of the entry-level market and should keep prices at reasonably affordable levels,” Belsky said.
Yet, affordability remains a major concern, as Belsky noted that 30%-40% of minority households are spending more than half their income on housing.
“People are willing to pay up because they get back more — a sense of belonging to their community. Affordability is a major public policy issue, but it won’t do in housing,” he said.
Belsky also said that a diverse housing finance system offering a variety of adjustable rate mortgages and automated loan underwriting has helped to boost minority loan approvals by as much as 30% and will enable future home buyers to withstand changes in interest rates.
Noting that scores of counties across the nation have added more than a quarter of their housing stock over the last 10-year period, Belsky added that NIMBYism will remain a problem for builders in the future.
“The hottest topic in Cambridge, MA, is smart growth,” he said. “People don’t like housing built wherever they are. They don’t want added traffic and they want to keep the character of their community. This makes for an inelastic supply of housing.”
Photo by Morris Semiatin
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