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YayforFriday t1_j2a40w6 wrote

Although I won't comment on the flawed data used to compile this map, the Federal Reserve, using a much higher quality data set, determined that housing is in a crisis of demand more than supply. While under-building over the last decade+ did contribute to the quick jump in housing prices, it is just one of the contributing factors.

Arguably much more important was the massive drop in interest rates and the willingness of the FED to purchase unlimited mortgage-backed-securities from the issuing banks. This gap between interest rates and inflation rates spawned a massive rush of capital into real estate as an investment, from the acquisition of investment properties to the purchase of second, third and fourth homes, all too common across this state.

If I was to change one thing to most help with housing affordability, zoning wouldn't even be near the top of the list. I would remove some of the tax advantages which are unique to real estate as an investment class. After all, the housing market has actually been hot since the Tax and Jobs act of 2017 introduced a host of tax benefits. The Fed simply poured gasoline on the fire. Unlimited 1031 exchange, cost segregation, pass through deductions, all of this should go long before it expires in 2026.

Unfortunately, it is human nature to seek simple solutions to complex problems, and anyone who believes we can simply build our way out of the housing problem absent any systematic change is subscribing to a fallacy.


Maine-iac_207 t1_j2alrzd wrote

This post should be pinned for this subreddit and anyone posting complaints about the housing issue need to read this before posting. The tax incentives, like 1031 exchange, need to be phased out asap. As long as you treat housing as an investment, you’re going to have housing issues.


HIncand3nza t1_j2bnotb wrote

Wtf an educated reply to a post on housing?

You’re exactly right though. It was rates + QE + real estate as an investment. The whole thing is a feedback loop straight out of “Irrational Exuberance”.


MrsBeansAppleSnaps t1_j2cb2b3 wrote

>While under-building over the last decade+ did contribute to the quick jump in housing prices, it is just one of the contributing factors.

Last decade? Try 75+ years. Even before the covid boom housing had been outpacing incomes for decades. Of course everything is multifactorial but you can't dismiss zoning's role in that. It stands to reason that mandating a house be built on 2 acres is going to make it more expensive than a house on 1/10 acre.

And you can't tell me that a majority of towns in Greater Portland not allowing housing to be built doesn't have an effect on prices. It's common sense that it does. If there were 1,000 new apartments online tomorrow current landlords couldn't charge what they are charging (unless you buy into the idea that there is virtually unlimited demand for housing in Portland, which some here seem to think).


guethlema t1_j2e0r7l wrote

Fucking thank you so, so much for explaining so clearly what so many people see as a problem with zoning. While zoning regionally is a problem, it is not the only problem nor the cause of the investment class of houses being gobbled up.


MaineviaIllinois t1_j29y3wp wrote

We do- in the sense that there are a lot of vacant homes. This is of course a byproduct of seasonal residents. Sadly those houses cannot be confiscated and pressed into service so we are stuck with an adequate supply- but a locked up market that does not meet the demand of year round residents


CombinationSea6976 t1_j2e6oux wrote

Sadly people’s homes can’t be confiscated? You should move to China!


MaineviaIllinois t1_j2f06ms wrote

Nope- it is America and our Supreme Court has ruled that states can determine what is public utility- including expanding malls and factories and taking peoples homes- not just recreational and investment properties using eminent domain. Typically of course these are low income houses. This would be using the same rules against the wealthy to have public utility of reduced homelessness.


Beasagdeux t1_j2b6nr1 wrote

What a bunch of crap.

Most of the houses around me have been sold recently. Half of them sold to NY'ers. Most of them kept as second homes. I'm happy enough with the people that moved here. But it kills me that the houses that used to house families with children are now empty 99% of the time. The neighborhood is really quiet now. The house across the street barely got a bite when they put it on the market before covid for $300K. This year it sold in less than a day for over $500K to a couple that doesn't even live there. I've seen lots of tradesmen and furniture deliveries... but I don't think they've been there two nights out of the last 9 months.

In the meantime... there is no such thing as a starter home anymore. Young local families can't even afford a decent apartment. Couples like my son and DIL have decided to skip kids altogether because they don't think they will be able to afford a home.

I don't know what the agenda is of the person who put this map together. But their method is suspect as heck.


987nevertry t1_j2bil4w wrote

In the last two years more than half of the homes in my neighborhood were sold to second home owners who are hardly ever here. I hate to say it, but it was an improvement. It’s quieter, cleaner, and the second home owners pay full property taxes while using few services. I imagine the people who sold those homes at the top of the market and took the big profit are happy wherever they are. I’m glad I stayed.


LMandragoran t1_j2dy4s5 wrote

Use fewer services like everything else in your town that drives it's economy?


philos34002 t1_j2dwcjr wrote

Came here to say the same thing, although being from OOB, there is a bias. On the 3 blocks nearest me 80 percent are summer houses used for maybe a month out of the year and we're not even that close to the beach


zoolilba t1_j2axyf5 wrote

Having enough houses and having affordable housing are not the same thing.


tmssmt t1_j2b71kr wrote

Ok, make your own chart


zoolilba t1_j2b7k9x wrote



tmssmt t1_j2b7pat wrote

Then what are you complaining about.

If someone made a chart called number of magnets it takes to scare away a ghost, would you come in and ask why milk steak wasn't included on the chart?


ANackRunUs t1_j2cfzy0 wrote

Idk about this guy, but I'm here to complain about how there are flatlanders buying up houses in Maine while Mainers are living in campers on old logging roads


zoolilba t1_j2b8exq wrote

There could be 3x the number of houses to people in the state but if the average house costs $250k and the average Mainer can't afford a house that expensive what's the point of having that many houses. It must as well be a billion houses.


tmssmt t1_j2b8q2z wrote

This chart is measuring availability, not affordability.


zoolilba t1_j2b9bqg wrote

If it's not affordable it's not available


tmssmt t1_j2b9wtk wrote

Look,.I understand what you're saying, but you don't seem to understand why that's not relevant


Antnee83 t1_j2dvcw5 wrote

You ever listened to a Yoko Ono record?

"well if you don't like it, make your own record" is not the appropriate response.


PrestigiousMoose t1_j2apexb wrote

Lol. I'm a Realtor here, and I can tell you the supply of homes is nowhere near adequate to meet the demand for housing.


ZingZongZaddy t1_j2bda4b wrote

Overheard a realtor at a holiday party bragging about getting his clients 2mil over asking on a home. A HOME.


CombinationSea6976 t1_j2e744j wrote

Sadly, real estate professionals are despised on this sub.


egoodkowsky t1_j2b4kj5 wrote

We have an adequate supply according to the census because we have so many communities with summer residences and camps, of which the vast majority are occupied for less than 3 months by seasonal residents and short term renters.

South Bristol for example had 435 households in the 2020 census and 1,045 housing units meaning 58.3% of housing units are not occupied by full time residents.

That is insane, and there are a lot of ideas about solutions.


Leviosahhh t1_j2akd9b wrote

We do, but they’re all owned by out of staters air bnbing them for short term rentals at premium rates, or they’re a seasonal camp.


ANackRunUs t1_j2cgaih wrote

I lived in Tahoe. It was cheap when i moved there. AirBnB destroyed the rental market. I'm sure there were other factors, but AirBnB is a cancer


acister t1_j2b6j94 wrote

Here's a more interesting map that also illustrates how stupid it is that this country has a housing crisis. We have enough food in the world(yet half gets wasted - most of it before it gets to the consumer) and we have enough housing. It's not about "adequate supply" and they should rot for using that phrase. On a not political note, Maine also has had young people move away for generations and is a vacation hotspot (but so are a lot of places..) so it does make sense there is a high number of empty houses sitting. Aroostook is the size of a small state and when the military base downsized and then shut down the population up there is now a fraction of what it was.



vsanna t1_j2bc640 wrote

Yup. I hate watching more crappy blocky "affordable housing" developments being built recklessly when plenty of homes sit as vacant vacation/investment property. If the legislature could sort its wording out to exclude seasonal camps that aren't suitable as is for year round residency, then maybe we could get a tax hike through and start to alleviate the problem.


acister t1_j2bcwwt wrote

I think some affordable housing is good to build but is not the answer but just a small slice of what needs to change. Reminds me of the eating bugs as sustainable protein debate. I'm for eating sustainable proteins but it doesn't address capitalisms systemic use of waste and excess. Sure if people want to eat crickets (they're really not bad), that's great but let's change the horrendous mismanagement of resources that is causing food shortage. People in Maine are scared of spicy food lol; they're not going to eat crickets. Half of food that is produced goes to waste. We shouldn't grow almonds in the desert that requires a gallon of water / almond but that is extremely profitable somehow (laissez faire).


vsanna t1_j2be52i wrote

I'd argue it's less like eating crickets (which are pretty tasty!) and more like going all in on monocultured lab "meats" instead of scaling down actual meat production to smaller, sustainable methods. But I'm a worker on a small farm, so I have a lot of time invested in that debate. Anyway, I think we're in agreement here. I'm also from Brunswick, where developers have been reined in lately from completely destroying the bay, so I am definitely biased.


acister t1_j2bjnws wrote

Yeah fair enough agree about the cultured meat analogy which I also think is disgusting and unnecessary (much more so than getting people used to eating crickets). I guess just humans thinking they constantly need "answers" to things when they're already doing things neurotically wrong in the first place (because of profits and capitalism assuming resources are infinite) is the issue. To keep riffing about diet I think it's even asking people to change their culture to be vegetarian/vegan for sustainability (which again I think is great and it is objectively the best diet as an individual and consumer for environmental reasons - I eat meat myself). We objectively should eat less meat (Americans) but should also change industry instead of expecting consumers to police industry (which will never work). Low income folks will shop at Wal-Mart and Family Dollar because it's cheaper but they also destroy rural economies, that shouldn't be on the consumer.

I do think we need some affordable housing (some) built right now just to get some folks off the streets right away, it is a crisis. But yeah it will only be a temporary band aid if we don't change how markets work or at the very least regulate markets in the interest of people and not profits (probably impossible under this paradigm).


GuppyGB t1_j2bslyc wrote

I haven't seen any housing developments. All I've heard from builders is that they're not doing developments and they're 2 years out on building homes. I'd gladly build a house than deal with these crappy homes that everyone is trying to sell for half a million. They are shit boxes built in the 70s. Hell, people are trying to sell 100 year old homes that can't even fit a fridge in the kitchen for 450k. Crappy layouts, wallpaper, old roof, old heating, gravel driveway, garage that can't even fit a modern car. This is what you'll find everywhere.


vsanna t1_j2bu4ak wrote

Lmao I gave up on trying to find an existing home and was going to build, had a perfect piece of land picked out and it got swooped, likely by a developer who also grabbed everything else that was within my range in the area. It's literally impossible to do anything. If I didn't live with family I couldn't even afford rent in the area.


ZingZongZaddy t1_j29xlde wrote

They're using sketchy statistics to make this map, comparing median income to home costs.


joeydokes t1_j2adqrd wrote

Like someone in the Vermont thread noted: it's Bloomberg news


rizub_n_tizug t1_j2akh1v wrote

They must not account for second homes and airbnb


starboardlobster t1_j2a1rb1 wrote

We do if you want to buy a home that’s at least 80+ years old, has lead paint, and/or structural issues…


Ironbird207 t1_j2avfdn wrote

What sucks is most of those will just sit and get worse with no incentive to fix or remove them. Some towns have laws that make repairs expensive because they want historical looks.


COhippygirl t1_j2b0ygx wrote

Absentee landlords and corrupt management companies contribute to this problem. There is an extreme lack of low income and section 8 housing. The state should demand some housing be available for low income people. And why aren’t new apartment buildings in every city? Makes no sense


ShovelPaladin77 t1_j2ae1yz wrote

Put your head back down and keep working, you're perfectly happy as you are, no need for change. Keep working!!!


DidDunMegasploded t1_j2axuux wrote

Seasonal homes and Airbnbs, sure. But not any other kind of housing.


iceflame1211 t1_j2auq24 wrote

Why the holes in data? What year is this from? What's cropped out at the bottom? This is almost r/awfuleverything material


christophrr29 t1_j2bl5xz wrote

Watching the prices on land over the last few years has been wild. Most buildable land in southern Maine is expensive and has been for a while, but the line of expensive v. reasonably priced land has been moving further north year over year. I’ve said it for a couple years now and I’ll continue to say it, idk how young people are affording buying houses and having kids right now


shadowbishop_84 t1_j2c5ms3 wrote

Plenty of houses or buildings sure. Affordable or available maybe show up without resources and see how you fair before making dumb data based assumptions. Smh


Substantial_Style169 t1_j2dp8zd wrote

No way there is an adequate supply of houses in Southern Maine.


CL-108 t1_j2dtrl4 wrote

Reservations don’t even have the data, or clean water.


deliciousout9 t1_j2eawn7 wrote

There are plenty of houses in ME, but 15-20% are owned as second homes and a good chunk more are bought up and rented out or are flipped and unaffordable to the average Mainer. The issue isn't supply and demand- though it still plays a role- the housing market is nearly divorced from market fundamentals and operates as an almost purely speculative market which serves a geographically fluid elite willing to cyclically uproot themselves in order to colonize new markets.


Trilliam_West t1_j2bo50p wrote

Building more housing is the solution here.


ptmtp26 t1_j2bivwq wrote

There are too many houses here, and WAY to many people here. Vacation homes are nice, free property tax money with no strain on the system


MrsBeansAppleSnaps t1_j2bs00g wrote

Did you and do you strain the system? Did you go to school and use the roads and sewers? What a disgusting attitude, all too common on this sub honestly.

And LOL saying there are too many people here. This is the most rural state in the nation bub, move to Saskatchewan if you think there are too many people here.


ptmtp26 t1_j2bt1k4 wrote

Or, maybe we’ll convince a few transplants to leave. That’s a significantly better option. Not like we want them here anyway.


MrsBeansAppleSnaps t1_j2ca2id wrote

Yeah you're right let's Just get rid of that pesky freedom of movement between states thing.


ptmtp26 t1_j2cc5ge wrote

Right, because that’s what I said.

Sounds like you’re butt hurt enough you might just be ready to jump back to where you came from. God we could only hope.


HarryBawlz-1 t1_j2ee3d8 wrote

Why do so many Mainers have a problem with people not born and raised in Maine? Just curious, not trying to pick a fight.