Found in 2 comments on Hacker News
yonran · 2019-07-14 · Original thread
According to this Vox interview with Jenny Schuetz (https://www.vox.com/2019/5/17/18628267/jenny-schuetz-weeds-i...), there are two housing crises: the superstar city crisis of million dollar homes due to exclusionary zoning, and rising rents for low-income households in the rest of the country. According to Kevin Erdmann, the crisis in the rest of the country was caused by federal policies that restricted lending to low-income households, forcing them to rent for more than they would have paid in mortgage (https://www.mercatus.org/tags/housing-affordability-series https://www.amazon.com/Shut-Out-Shortage-Recession-Universit...).

When Kevin Drum looks at national medians, he entirely misses both of these problems.

yonran · 2019-05-27 · Original thread
The author Alex Danco’s link that supposedly proves that building housing doesn’t improve affordability is a poor review article by Michael Storper and Andres Rodríguez-Pose that is rather thoroughly debunked by their own colleagues Michael Manville, Michael Lens, and Paavo Monkkonen here: https://twitter.com/mc_lens/status/1129502980498022401 In summary, Storper badly misrepresents or misunderstands the economic literature, and attacks strawman arguments, to try to avoid admitting that supply improves affordability.

The author also says, “The third factor that somehow gets left out of a lot of armchair debates about housing and yet is an essential (possibly THE essential) element in all of this is credit.” As Kevin Erdmann explains in Shut Out (https://www.amazon.com/Shut-Out-Shortage-Recession-Universit...), the opposite is true. Credit is the factor that people jump to to the exclusion of rent (and expected rent given the low rate of homebuilding), which is directly related to supply constraints. Housing prices are high in the Bay Area because rents are high; low interest rates did not detach prices from rents.

Yes, there are a lot of factors in the housing market if you want to get deep in the weeds. But in my opinion, attempts to elevate second and third order factors to avoid dealing with the first-order factors of supply and demand are sophomoric.

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