Positive Future #185 (Feature photo – The American Dream – (Public Domain)
The Harvard Center for Housing Studies just released some numbers comparing housing from 1988 to 2017. In short, Americans were better off in 1988 than today. For perspective, the U.S. population in 1988 was 245 million and the U.S. population today is 327 Million.
Here are some of the differences:
- In 1988 there was a house for sale for every 113 people. In 2017 there was a house for sale for every 253 people.
- There were 355,000 fewer housing units built in 2017 than in 1988.
- In 1988, 6.3 percent of student loan borrowers owed over $50,000 in student debt. In 2017, 21 percent of student loan borrowers owed over $50,000.
- In 1988, the price of a median house was 3.2 times income. In 2017, the price of a median house was 4.2 times income.
- Home ownership for 25-34 year olds was 45.2 percent in 1988 and only 39.2 percent in 2017.
What can one make of all of this? What is the role of population growth and the state of the economy for this sobering housing situation?