Report of the Working Committee on Housing Costs

by Council on Wage and Price Stability on May 10, 1979
by Council on Wage and Price Stability

Housing Costs as an  Issue
The general perception of the housing cost “problem” focuses on the rapid acceleration of house price since 1970 and more 50 during the more recent 1977-1978 period. A comparative examination of housing cost and income trends indicates:
• From 1971 through 1978, the median sales price of a new single family home increased ever 120 percent and existing home prices rose nearly 95 percent. Estimated unit housing· production costs accelerated 94.3 percent between 1969 and 1977, with the price of land the basic fixed production input increasing 127 percent. Comparatively, consumer purchasing power (per capita disposable personal income) iucreased by 85 percent, a rate less than that
of house prices — new and existing — and production costs.

Although the problem is national in scope, house prices have not increased uniformly throughout the country, with wide regional variations in housing prices generally reflecting changes in the ~ation’s geographical distribution of its population.

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