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Why is everyone against affordable housing?

I don’t know. Actually, I only wrote that because I needed a headline.

But here are the facts:

Why is everyone against affordable housing? More than 3 in 5 counties studied in a recent home affordability report were deemed less affordable than their historical averages, representing a steep uptick in the second quarter of the year.

Are homes less affordable in 2021?

This share of counties hovering in less affordable territory was the highest seen in the last two years, an observation that comes as home price growth continues to outpace wage increases in many metros throughout the country, the ATTOM Data Solutions report said.

How does affordability compare to last year?

The 61 percent of counties whose affordability slipped in the second quarter was higher than the 48 percent ATTOM reported in the same period last year.

What is the average percentage of one’s income go to housing?

Nationwide, the cost of homeownership has risen to its highest level since 2008, the report says. Major costs of a typical home took up more than 25 percent of the average national wage in the second quarter of this year. Last year, that number was closer to 22 percent.

ATTOM’s report points out that this remains within the standard lenders tend to follow. If no more than 28 percent of a household’s income is taken up by mortgage payments, home insurance and property taxes, lenders tend not to lose sleep.

The Globe ran an editorial today entitled “Where’s the housing” which asked the question, Where’s the housing?

It costs so much to build in the city of Boston, due to lack of land and the high cost of construction (and because developers want to make a lot of money), so little is built here. Meanwhile, in the suburbs, residents don’t want new neighbors, because they’ll have kids, and those kids will go to public schools, and therefore everyone’s taxes will go up, plus residents don’t want more traffic and congestion (and because they want big yards and don’t want condo developments because then poorer, darker people will be able to afford to move in), so little is built there, either.

Good editorial. I have two things to say about it, though.

The Globe repeats the oft-quoted statistic that the city of Boston “has issued permits for 17,000 units over the past seven years”, most recently permits for the 523 units of housing at Olmsted Green.

You always hear the Mayor bragging about the number of housing units that have been built over the years of his administration.

I am, how you say, extremely skeptical.

First, as even a child knows, what is permitted and what is built is two different things.

Second, the city includes just about anything and everything in their total – from multi-million dollar condos in the Ritz Carlton Towers (hi, Manny!) … to the renovation of apartments in your local housing project.

Not that they don’t count.

But, don’t fool yourselves.

The actual number of market-rate (and below market rate) condos built over the past half-decade is much less than they say.

Except I have no hard data to back up any of my assertions.

You want data, read a newspaper.

The second thing I want to say is, if I have to hear this story about this poor dental surgery resident one more time, I’ll burst (you’ll have to read the Globe editorial to see what I’m talking about).

Contact me to set up an appointment to start your Boston condo-buying process.

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Updated:  Boston real estate Summer 2021

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