By Emily Badger, The New York Times
The housing secretary wants to encourage mixed-income, multifamily development as a way of making housing more affordable. But it’s a notion homeowners of all political leanings tend to oppose.
Ben Carson, the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, wants to spur construction of mixed-income, multifamily housing all over the country. If we had more of it, he argues, homes would be affordable to more families, and they’d have more options of where to live.
He is probably right. But the kind of housing he describes is impractical, illegal or too costly to build in much of the United States today, in suburbs and big cities alike. Blocking it are: zoning rules that allow only single-family homes; laws that dictate the size of yards; elaborate permits that drive up development costs; and rules that grant neighbors a veto over what is built.
By Philip Molnar, The San Diego Union-Tribune
San Diego was one of the least-affordable U.S. metro areas for buying a home in the second quarter, said a recently-released study from mortgage website HSH.
Potential buyers needed to make $130,986 a year to afford the median-priced single-family house.
Only two other metro areas were less affordable — San Jose and San Francisco — said the study, which crunched numbers for 50 regions across the United States.
HSH determined rankings by looking at quarterly home price data, local property taxes, homeowner insurance costs and income needed to qualify for a loan. It also assumed that prospective homebuyers made a 20 percent down payment.