US housing prices skyrocket for homeowners and renters alike

Originally published at:


@doctorow what does this sentence mean?

Is the word “less” missing from after “paying”? If so… well, I bought my house in 2012 and have seen my payments go up by almost 50%, despite having a fixed rate mortgage. No, I don’t understand it either. Banker magic! (Its a combination of rising taxes and increases to insurance costs due to increased value, I suspect. But probably mostly that my Mortgage holder is Wells Fargo.)

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I read the Angry Bear article, and all it meant is the interest rate has dropped faster than the housing prices have risen. Ancillary costs may have ballooned.

I’m still boggled by the massive increase in rents. Why aren’t we seeing the boom in rental unit construction to take advantage of the high rents in the same way we saw a boom in housing units to take advantage of crazy high housing prices?

Also, does anyone know what percentage of the rental market is owned by megalandlords? They are certainly a newish player, but are the 5%, 20%, 50%? i.e. is the increase in rental costs a function of their practices, or are there other factors at play, like an increased concentration of new renters in desirable locations?


Mother fucking apt complex want to raise my rent 85 bucks a month!


I am going to be looking for a new place to live now, and I don’t want to move. I got too much fucking shit.

I got a long box of Robotech comics, any one need that?

How about 90s Star Wars stuff - mint condition! I got to pair it down.


That chart doesn’t do much to support the headline. Kinda the opposite, really.


Key takeaways from the article:

But even with the recent increase in mortgage payments, in relative terms they are still lower than they were at the peak of the housing bubble, and a relative bargain compared with their historical multiple of rental payments. In short, if one can get past the down payment, home ownership still looks like the better choice.

Record down payments are keeping an increasing number of prospective buyers, especially first time buyers, shut out of the market for buying a house.

Further, if interest rates and housing costs increase much further — most importantly, if home builders continue to focus on only the most expensive segment of the market — at some point they will overwhelm the increased numbers of home-buying age Millennials who have been buoying up the market.

The solution would appear to be incentivizing the construction of a whole bunch of smaller, cheaper, low down payment homes. Kind of like this, but without the racial covenants of course:

I look forward to seeing political candidates, who really want to improve life for the middle and lower middle class, getting behind this idea.


In a lot of places, zoning laws are directly responsible for preventing supply from growing with demand. An obvious example is SanFrancisco; there’s almost no high density housing there. That’s because of zoning laws, not because quaint small townhouses are a good market response to growing demand.


They are under development.
In my city ALL the new developments being proposed are Large “Luxury” Apartments. Not Condos. This despite the fact that there was a recently built all-apartment development in an optimal location that still sits about half-empty.


From what I’ve seen a lot of landlords are doing relatively cheap renovations on long-neglected existing properties and then boosting the rents in those. But you’re right, most big desirable cities also need new rental housing stock (preferably high density).


Wasn’t this one of the many reasons we invented job-killing government regulations?


Is your complex full? If there are empty units threatening to move may get you out of the increase.

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Interestingly enough, the same conservative homeowners who tell you they hate job killing government regulations will support any damn regulation you can think of, if it’s sold as “preserving home values”.

And a lot of liberal homeowners who tell you they hate it that the working poor and lower middle class can’t afford housing will throw those groups under the bus in a second, in the cause of “preserving home values”.


We’ve been through this cycle several times before. Both during and immediately following WW2, there was a huge spike in the number of young people moving to cities. There was also a glut of big, expensive ‘white elephant’ houses - what used to be victorian and gilded-age mansions, but were now run-down and the elderly owners needed income. The solution? The houses got divided into rooming houses. I suspect that’s a faster and less expensive solution than specific low-income housing construction. Zoning ordinances try to prevent that, but if a group of people are co-habitating, and the house isn’t physically altered (a toilet added to each bedroom), it would be hard to prove there was an ordinance violation.

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As long as the infrastructure of the area can handle an apartment building, I wouldn’t really mind a small multiunit building going up in my neighborhood. The trouble comes when the builders/landlords don’t make allowances for parking, noise abatement, sewage, electrical, and a number of other issues. A hot button topic locally is people putting up ‘mega-houses’ which are de facto apartment buildings that skirt or ignore legalities.


my favorite one recently was “progressive” homeowners in SF shutting down a (already-funded and zoning compliant) apartment building meant for low-income seniors because of “neighborhood character” and fears that homeless seniors might end up living there (you know, instead of dying in the street. The horror.). These are the same people who have and would shut down all market rate building projects too, because “we need affordable housing.”


From the 1890’s:



this is simply NIMBY at work.

It’s using the electoral process to lock in (or at least try to lock in) their housing bubble gains.

Hell, If someone could pass a law that would keep my mutual funds from losing value I’d probably vote for them, too.

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If anyone is in the Southern end of California, I recommend the Yucca Valley / Joshua Tree area. Easy commute to Palm Springs, and the area has a lot of out door activities. I attached a typical rental in that area. My Dear Wife and I have our retirement home in Yucca Valley, it ain’t the big city, but we like it.

In my area, the regulations don’t just target the building, they also focus on the people. Codes that limit the number of unrelated people who live in a house are intended to prevent illegal rooming houses, unregulated fraternity or sorority houses, and group homes for rehab patients. Fines are also being increased to discourage property owners from skipping the permit, inspection, and zoning processes.