Massachusetts Lawmakers Seek Boost Housing Supply as Demand Rises

Housing sales in Massachusetts recently reached their highest level in 10 years. Real estate agents and property owners across the state have praised the robust recovery. However, a lack of inventory poses a concern for the sustainability of the market. State lawmakers are discussing solutions to increase housing supply to meet the growing demand.

Rising Demand Spurs Need for Solutions as Construction Stalls

A recent report from The Warren Group found that housing sales reached their highest level in 10 years. Prices have continued to rise as well, which suggests that demand is going to rise in the future as well.

The housing rebound is encouraging, but the market may hit a wall if demand stagnates. The vibrant market has prompted policymakers at the state and local levels to pursue solutions.

Several experts have addressed the state legislature to discuss ideas to boost the state housing supply. Clark Ziegler, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Housing Partnership, made a presentation on September 29th. Ziegler said that boosting the supply of housing for low income and middle class families will need to be a major priority in the near future.

Other Experts Believe Housing Production Isn’t as Immediate of a Concern

While the contracting inventory is a cause for concern, some experts feel the problem isn’t as severe as some of their colleagues.  Jim Nemetz, a local real estate agent, said housing production is likely to continue through the end of the year.

“I expect a good clip of activity between Thanksgiving and the end of the year,” Nemetz told reporters. “Sales prices sound astronomical, especially in Brookline and Newton, but with the current interest rates, they’re affordable to professionals who work in Boston.”

His sentiments have been echoed by Corinne Fitzgerald, another local real estate broker. “With all these new listings added to the market this month, it suggests to me that we can keep this momentum going into the fall,” Fitzgerald stated. She was very impressed with the year-over-year sales figures this past summer.

All experts agree that the state needs to make increasing the housing supply a priority. However, state lawmakers may not feel pressured to take immediate action until all housing experts indicate that there is a major cause for concern. However, most policymakers recognize that housing units may not be sufficient to meet the growing demand as the state undergoes the strongest growth since the mortgage meltdown.