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Microblog #57: Rents are falling—but for whom?

Why Do Developers Only Build “Luxury” Housing? It May Not Be As Much of a Choice As You Think.

In a new Washington Post article, Jeff Stein writes that rents have fallen over the past year in many major cities across America. While that may seem like good news for all, reading between the lines of data reveals that this dip is primarily driven by cheaper prices for high-end rentals. Meanwhile, housing costs for low-wage earners have generally stayed the same or increased—keeping many rent-burdened.

What’s behind this trend? Experts point to a glut of high-end units that continue to get built in the post-recession recovery, while the production or preservation of affordable apartments lags way behind. While some of these new luxury units may naturally “filter down” to be less expensive in coming years, a constant demand for urban living might delay that process, putting a tighter strain on the already limited number of affordable homes across urban areas.


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