America’s Housing Shortfall

An excellent chart from Brad DeLong’s talk at the Urban Land Institute conference makes a point that few people realize—the net impact of the housing boom and the housing bust is that we now appear to have a substantial housing shortage in America:

Part of what’s needed to turn this around is an overall healthier economy. And part of what’s needed is for more land to be zoned so as to permit the construction of multi-family rental units, which would allow people to have places to live without requiring a renewed boom in mortgage lending. Alternatively, some kind of conceptual breakthrough in how to efficiently manage large blocs of single-family homes as rental properties would do the trick.