The pandemic-induced run on housing has fueled a national affordability crisis for many would-be home buyers. Homeownership has long been considered a staple of the American dream. As the coronavirus outbreak and rise of remote work pushed Americans to move from the city to the suburbs, those who could afford a single-family home have been able to leverage historically low interest rates to build equity and net worth. During 2020, the homeownership rate jumped to roughly 67%, up nearly 3% from a year earlier after remaining largely flat for a decade, according to the Census Bureau.
High demand for housing, along with a record low supply of homes for sale, has also caused a sharp spike in home prices, shutting others out entirely. The pandemic-induced run on housing has also fueled an affordability problem for many of those would-be buyers, despite mortgage rates near the lowest levels ever.