Everybody Panic: The Coming Housing Shortage

Housing Shortage
Housing Shortage

The U.S. has a real estate problem. It appears we don't have enough homes to put a roof over everyone's heads.

Say what?

That's the warning from housing economist David Crowe, who projects that the number of homes now being built – on pace toward 591,000 homes and 87,000 rental apartments in 2010 -- isn't enough to keep up with an ever-rising American population. He says that the nation will need to build 16 million new homes over the next decade, or more than twice as many as are coming online now, to keep up with demand. Crowe hints that he's not alone in his concern: "Economists are beginning to sound the warning that today's extremely low levels of new residential production could lead to significant housing shortages."

Now, take this with a grain of salt. David Crowe is the chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, so part of his job is to inspire fear in the hearts of Congress and government officials across the land to do what's necessary to support residential construction, including propping up the comatose Wall Street market in real estate finance.