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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

Freddie Mac multifamily head, Kevin Palmer: Surging rent has created greater "housing uncertainty"

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A poll from Freddie Mac's Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation published July 26 reported that 62% of Americans are somewhat or very concerned about being able to afford their house.

The poll also showed 69% of Americans worry about rising housing costs, 58% of renters have experienced some level of rent payment increase within the last year, 19% of renters who experienced that increase feel that they are likely to miss a payment, while 38% say they are only somewhat likely to miss a payment.

“The surge in rents that took place over the last 12 months has created even greater housing uncertainty for the most vulnerable renters,” said Freddie Mac Multifamily head, Kevin Palmer. “Our survey shows that the national housing affordability crisis is worsening, and that inflation is a key driver. Freddie Mac Multifamily is charging toward a record year for our affordable housing work, but it’s going to take a concerted, sustained, and comprehensive effort to turn the tide.”

The National Association of Realtors' housing-affordability index reported that housing in the United States was more expensive in June than any month in over 30 years, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. The index factors in family incomes, mortgage rates, and the sales price for current single-family homes when coming to its conclusions.

The index fell to 98.5 in June, which marked its lowest level since it hit 98.3 in June 1989.

"Consumer sentiment toward the housing market has worsened alongside affordability," wrote WSJ reporter, Nicole Friedman, in an article published Friday. "The percent of consumers surveyed by Fannie Mae in July who said it was a good time to buy a home fell to 17% in July from 28% a year earlier, while the percent who said it was a good time to sell a home fell to 67% from 75% a year earlier."

"Existing-home sales have declined for five straight months," Friedman stated. "During that period, interest rates shot up while home prices steadily climbed, leading to the sharpest erosion of affordability for the U.S. housing market in years and pricing more buyers out of the market."

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index data for the 12 months ending July 2022 in a report published Aug. 10. The data reveals that the "all items" index saw an annual increase of 8.5%, with food, shelter, and electricity being the largest contributors to the spike.

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