Challenges We Faced in 2021: Housing Affordability

Housing Affordability

Housing affordability has been an ongoing concern surrounding the home building industry, as factors such as lot and labor shortages continue to impact housing prices. The issue was compounded in 2021 by skyrocketing material prices, which had far-reaching effects on multiple aspects of the building industry, including affordable housing through organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and teaching materials for much needed skill labor courses.

Lumber price spikes sidelined buyers during a period of high demand, and forced builders to put projects on hold at a time when home inventories were already at a record low. Record-low mortgage rates helped to offset some of the rising costs at the beginning of the year, but many home buyers continued to be priced out of the market. NAHB research also noted a greater disparity for housing affordability challenges among minority households.

NAHB closely monitored the administration’s response to these housing issues, while actively engaging in dialogue and challenging inefficient efforts around the factors contributing to a lack of housing affordability:

Housing affordability has remained steady over the course of these efforts: According to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI), 56.6% of new and existing homes sold during the second and third quarter of 2021 were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $79,900. However, it’s still the lowest affordability level since the beginning of the revised series in the first quarter of 2012.

NAHB will continue to be outspoken on the challenges surrounding housing affordability and work diligently to ensure that they are taken into account as part of any housing efforts on Capitol Hill.

Learn more about the factors contributing to housing affordability and how it can be addressed at

Subscribe to NAHBNow

Log in or create account to subscribe to notifications of new posts.

Log in to subscribe