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The Greater Boston Housing Report Card 2011

The Greater Boston Housing Report Card 2011

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The Greater Boston HousingReport Card 2011
Housing’s Role in the Ongoing Economic Crisis
Barry BluestoneChase Billingham
with
Liz Williams, Yingchan Zhang, Tim Davis, Aaron Gornstein,Marvin Siflinger, Ann Verrilli,
and
Eleanor White
Prepared by:
The Kitty and Michael Dukakis Centerfor Urban and Regional PolicyNortheastern University
for
The Boston Foundation,Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA)
and
The Warren Group
Edited by:
Mary Jo Meisner, The Boston Foundation
U n d e r s t a n d i n g B o s t o n
 
October 2011
 
 
Design:
Kate Canfield, Canfield Design
Cover Photo:
Richard Howard, Richard Howard Photography
© 2011 by the Boston Foundation. All rights reserved.
The Boston Foundation
, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the oldest and largest community foundationsin the nation, with assets of $796 million. In Fiscal Year 2010, the Foundation and its donors made more than $82 millionin grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of close to $83 million. The Foundation is made up of some 900separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes.The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, provider of information, convener, and sponsor of specialinitiatives designed to address the community’s and region’s most pressing challenges. For more information about theBoston Foundation, visit www.tbf.org or call 617-338-1700.
The Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy
conducts interdisciplinary research, in collaborationwith civic leaders and scholars both within and beyond Northeastern University, to identify and implement real solutions tothe critical challenges facing urban areas throughout Greater Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the nation.Founded in 1999 as a “think and do” tank, the Dukakis Center’s collaborative research and problem-solving model appliespowerful data analysis, a bevy of multidisciplinary research and evaluation techniques, and a policy-driven perspective toaddress a wide range of issues facing cities and towns. These include affordable housing, local economic development, work-force development, transportation, public finance, and environmental sustainability. The staff of the Dukakis Center worksto catalyze broad-based efforts to solve urban problems, acting as both a convener and a trusted and committed partnerto local, state, and national agencies and organizations. The Center is housed within Northeastern University’s innovativeSchool of Public Policy and Urban Affairs.
The Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association
(CHAPA) is a statewide organization that represents the interests of all play-ers in the housing and community development fields, including non-profit and for-profit developers, municipal officials,homeowners, tenants, bankers, real estate professionals, property managers, and government officials. The organization is asponsor of many research projects concerned with housing and in 1998 commissioned a study from the Donahue Institute atthe University of Massachusetts entitled “A Profile of Housing in Massachusetts.” This report began the work of measuringprogress in key housing policy areas such as supply, affordability, and accessibility. Over the past five years, CHAPA hasassisted in the funding and development of each of the Greater Boston Housing Report Cards.
The Warren Group
collects public record data on real estate sales and ownership throughout New England and offers arange of real estate products, information services and printed publications, including the weekly newspapers Banker &Tradesman and The Commercial Record. The company also produces and organizes trade shows and events for a varietyof industries, including bankers, mortgage brokers, credit unions and lawyers. Based in Boston, the company was estab-lished in 1872 and is now in its fourth generation of family ownership and management.
UNDERSTANDING BOSTON
 
is a series of forums, educational events and research sponsored by the Boston Foundation to provideinformation and insight into issues affecting Boston, its neighborhoods, and the region. By working in collaboration witha wide range of partners, the Boston Foundation provides opportunities for people to come together to explore challengesfacing our constantly changing community and to develop an informed civic agenda. Visit www.tbf.org to learn moreabout Understanding Boston and the Boston Foundation.
 
1
The Greater Boston Housing Report Card 2011
Contents
Letter from Paul Grogan

4Executive Summary

51.Introduction

112.Housing Supply in Greater Boston

243.Home Sales, Prices, and Rents in Greater Boston

324.Homeownership

475.Public Policy and Public Spending in Support of Housing

566.Conclusion and Policy Suggestions
                                                                        
69Endnotes

76
APPENDICESAPPENDIX A:
Municipal Scorecard

82
LIST OF FIGURES, MAPS AND TABLES
FIGURE 11 Percentage Change in Real GDP, 20042011:2Q
12
 FIGURE 12 USCivilian Employment, 20012011 (July)
13
 FIGURE 13 US Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted), 2001–2011 (August)                                              
13
FIGURE 14 Average US Real Gross Weekly Earnings (1982–1984 Dollars), Total Non-Farm Employment Sector, 2001–2011 (June)
14
FIGURE 15 USReal Per Capita Personal Disposable Income (2005 Dollars), 2001–2011:2Q
14
FIGURE 16 Monthly National Average Commitment Rate on 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgages, January 2000–July 2011 
16
FIGURE 17 New Housing Unit Starts in the US, 20012011 (annualized est)
17
FIGURE 18 Real USResidential Fixed Investment (2005 Dollars), 2001–2011:2Q (Annualized)
17
FIGURE 19 Components of Real GDP Decline, 2008:2Q2011:2Q
17
FIGURE 110 Economic Activity Index and Employment Index, Massachusetts vs US, December 2007–July 2011
18
FIGURE 111 Percent Change in Economic Activity Index by State, December 2007–July 2011
19
FIGURE 112 Change in Total Non-Farm Employment in Massachusetts (Seasonably Adjusted), 2000–2011 (August)
19
FIGURE 113 Percent Change in Employment, Massachusetts vsUS, July 2010–July 2011
20
FIGURE 114 Home Price Performance by State, June 2006 June 2011
20
FIGURE 115 Economic Activity Index vsHome Price Performance, 20062011 
21

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