The housing market has come a long way from the bust of the late ’00s, when people learned hard, sometimes disastrous lessons about home value and equity and how close to disaster a housing bubble can bring the entire economy. Since then, the market — and homeowners — have tread through debilitating negative equity, increasing home value gains in most markets, and investment purchases from foreign home buyers.
In the wake of the housing market rebound, affordability has become an increasing problem. The inventory of homes for sale is small and shrinking, with homeowners and builders offering fewer units than they used to. People who are historically hurt by a housing crunch — low-income households and minorities — are feeling the squeeze, and for those on the economic bottom rung, it often means a fall into homelessness.
Zillow Research explored these issues and more over the past year. Here are some highlights:
The typical renter spends 29.1 percent of her income on rent, up from 25.8 percent historically. Resulting concerns about affordability laid the framework for much of Zillow Research’s rental analyses over the past year.
- How to Save on Rent: Don’t Move
- Calculator: Need a Raise to Cover That Rent Increase?
- Where Renting Pays: Places Where Owning Takes a While to Pencil Out
- 20 ‘Sweet Spots’ for Renters
Tax Reform & Policy
Changes in Washington, D.C., have raised a lot of questions regarding homeownership, from the implications of tax reform to the effect of changes to immigration policy.
- Tax Reform and Housing: All Your Questions Answered
- How Republicans and Democrats View Property Taxes
- An Estimated 123,000 ‘Dreamers’ Own Homes and Pay $380M in Property Taxes
- Bump in 2018 Conforming Loan Limits Likely to Save Borrowers Thousands
- How Improvements to Housing Vouchers Could Lift More Boats
Homeownership has long been divided along race and economic lines. In some ways, the housing bust only deepened the divide.
- Homes in Black Neighborhoods Twice as Likely to be Underwater as Homes in White Neighborhoods
- For Many Low-Income Households, Even Low-Valued Homes Aren’t Affordable
- Why Blacks and Hispanics Rely On Their Homes for Their Wealth
- Gaps in Economic Opportunity (from 2017 Zillow Economic Forum)
Affordability & Homelessness
When people cannot afford housing, their health suffers — and, sometimes, they become homeless. Zillow Research documented the correlation between rising rents and the growing homeless population — and documented how commonplace housing insecurity has become.
- Financial Hardship Is Widespread, Especially for Households Earning Less Than $40,000
- Rising Rents Mean Larger Homeless Population
- For Many Low-Income Renters, Even Low-End Apartments Aren’t Affordable
- As Rents Rise, More Renters Turn to Doubling Up
- Healthy Housing: Where Higher Rents Are Correlated With Worse Health
Climate & Environment
Following the previous year’s look at how many homes would be underwater if the seas rose 6 feet over the next century, as some experts predict it will, Zillow Research examined the breakout of those areas by home value. We also delved into the housing implications of recent wildfires and floods.
- Climate Change and Homes: Who Would Lose the Most to a Rising Tide?
- 12 Counties Account for a Third of U.S. Flood Insurance Claims
- Hurricane Irma’s Flooding Wasn’t as Severe as First Feared, Possibly Sparing Half a Million Homes
- California Wildfires Force Thousands to Find Housing in Already Tight, Pricey Region
Home Buying (and Selling) Research You Can Use
As the largest, most-trusted and vibrant home-related marketplace in the world, Zillow has a lot of data that can be used to help people decide when and how to buy and sell homes.
- What’s the Best Time of Year for Home Buyers?
- Movin’ On Up: How Much More Will a Larger Home Cost per Month?
- Tips for Timing the Housing Market When Selling A Home
Some governments have tried to slow the influx of foreign home buyers, fearing they’re driving up prices. Zillow Research looked at the issue through a U.S. lens.
- Are Home Buyers From China Competing With Americans?
- U.S. Stability Draws Foreign Buyers Leery of Uncertainty at Home
- Viewed from Beijing, Even Silicon Valley Housing Looks Affordable
- Taxing Foreign Home Buyers: What It Does and Doesn’t Do – Intended or Not