The Week Ahead: Easing Housing Costs Through Urban Expansion

On Friday, April 12, the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies will present a webinar, “Can New Suburban Housing Make Urban Areas More Affordable?” at 11:15 a.m. Central.

According to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, over the past 30 years, home prices and rents in urban centers have grown faster than in the suburbs, while most of the new housing that was built was in the suburbs.

During this webinar, Meyer Fellow and Ph.D. candidate Valentine Gilbert will discuss research he conducted with Robert French, Ph.D. candidate in Public Policy (Economics Track) at the Harvard Kennedy School, that asks whether continued suburban expansion can alleviate rising housing costs in urban areas, or whether urban centers will have to grow denser to become more affordable.

Seeking to preserve equitable housing

The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies seeks to improve equitable access to decent, affordable homes in thriving communities. The Center conducts research to advance policy and practice, and brings together diverse stakeholders to spark innovative ideas for addressing the nation’s housing challenges. Through teaching and fellowships, the Center mentors and inspires the next generation of housing leaders.

The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies recently released “America’s Rental Housing 2024.” According to the report, climbing rents in recent years have propelled U.S. cost burdens to new heights as in 2022, half of all the nation’s renters were cost burdened. This all-time high of 22.4 million renter households spent more than 30% of their income on rent and utilities.

In Q3 of 2023, rent growth fell for professionally managed apartments to just 0.4%, down from 15.3% in early 2022.

“This abrupt deceleration was geographically widespread, with rents even falling in some markets,” said Whitney Airgood-Obrycki, a Senior Research Associate at the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and lead author of the report. “While the slowdown is a welcome change for renters, asking rents still remain well above pre-pandemic levels.”

Click here for more information or to register for “Can New Suburban Housing Make Urban Areas More Affordable?

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Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 25-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, most recently serving as Editor-in-Chief for National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He graduated from the New York Institute of Technology, where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books, and has served as Copy Editor for
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