The Investor’s Role in Easing the Affordable Housing Crisis

Dec 18, 2023 11:20 AM ET

by Faina Rozental, Eventide Asset Management

America’s housing affordability has severely deteriorated over the last two years. Mortgage rates reached a 23-year high this October, and the limited supply of homes for sale has kept a floor under home prices. Home sales in September dropped to their lowest levels since the foreclosure crisis. Roughly 85% of American homeowners are locked into lower interest rates from past years, and many have experienced rising home equity values, with the median home price up 2.8% over last year. This is a contributing factor to why the overall U.S. consumer is still fairly healthy, but also why the housing market is all but frozen.

For first-time homebuyers, persistent inflation and soaring home insurance rates are creating additional barriers to homeownership. Lower income families in particular are left bearing the brunt of the adverse effects in this current economic environment. These families are often left to rent, unable to front the costly barrier to entry into the housing market. For those that have locked in a 3% mortgage rate, however, they reap the benefit of steadily growing equity that will increase over time.

So, while some may say that only the rich are getting richer, investors seeking to advance human flourishing have a critical role to play in improving housing affordability so that more people can experience the potential benefits of homeownership.

Read more about 2 key points in Faina's full article: 1) Investors can consider homebuilders and real estate investment trusts (REITs) whose core business is to address the affordable housing crisis. and 2) Investors can help address the affordable housing crisis by considering municipal bonds in their active fixed-income portfolios. All here at -