The housing industry's impact can't be ignored. After all, reckless lending and high demand led to an economy crash near the end of the Bush administration. When the roof finally collapsed, builders were stuck with inventory and many potential buyers couldn't get loans.
Now, it appears that Michigan is seeing a near-crisis in affordable home building, the result of a difficulty with lending, regulations and a dwindling skilled-trade workforce, write Christine Ferretti and Jennifer Chambers of The Detroit News.
And it could get worse.
The Home Builders Association of Michigan releases a "wake-up call" report Tuesday on the state’s housing challenges.It says bank lending for housing developments is limited, regulatory and building costs are rising and there's a shortage of skilled workers.
That said, demand is growing for larger homes that provide higher investment returns, which means few homes are being built at starter or mid-level costs. That means the market is pricing lots of residents out of the market for new housing, the association says.
“It’s a multifaceted challenge and problem for the state,” says Bob Filka, CEO of the Lansing-based builders association. “We wanted to put a framework out there that said, ‘Hey, we live and breathe this stuff. We are telling you these issues collectively are going to cause a major problem for this state if we don’t do something about them.’ ”