Fifty-eight percent of housing stock in Connecticut was built prior to 1969, according to the Partnership for Strong Communities. So there must be demand for newer homes, right?
The US Census recently reported that only 24,000 new homes sold in all of the Northeast in 2018. Once you look at the sales price it’s even more discouraging when you realize only 1,000 homes were developed (in the entire region) with a sales price under $200,000. In fact, a hefty portion of new homes selling last year were in the $500,000 and over range.
Okay, so let’s look at attached (multi-unit) new homes. Maybe there are more units and better pricing in this category where residents share common space. Nope. All of units created in the Northeast had prices starting at $250,000 in 2018. The majority of attached units sold for between $400,000 and $750,000 last year.
Who’s buying this housing? By a wide margin, those purchasing new homes were qualified for a traditional mortgage or paid cash. Buyers with modest incomes or less than perfect credit (who took out FHA or VA mortgages) were a significant minority.
There’s no surplus of affordable housing anywhere in Connecticut, at any price or in any condition. Yet, according to the United Way’s ALICE report, 40 percent of state residents are living in poverty or barely making ends meet. Housing is one of the biggest ticket items in a family budget. Let’s make more of it affordable!