Phoenix to 'hit the skids on affordability,' economist says, though outlook for future positive

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Posted at 8:58 AM, Oct 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-15 11:58:37-04

PHOENIX — Despite some looming challenges, especially housing affordability, in Phoenix, economic experts presenting at the Greater Phoenix Chamber’s annual Economic Outlook agreed the future for both the state and country is positive.

Elliott Pollack, founder of Scottsdale-based Elliott D. Pollack & Co., said both rental housing vacancy and homeowner vacancy are at record lows nationally, and in Phoenix there is an estimated shortage of 25,000 single-family homes and 15,000 apartment units, on top of what is needed to keep up with normal population growth.

“Now, we have a short supply of housing inventory, so we will see a huge price increase, because there is a constrained supply and lots of demand,” he said.

Phoenix has not reached an unaffordable level quite yet, Pollack said, but an increase in interest rates could quickly turn the tables.

“We are about to hit the skids on affordability,” he said.

While Phoenix remains comparably affordable to Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle, which is where most new Phoenix residents move from, the people who will feel the squeeze of the market fastest will be millennials who have lived in Phoenix and are trying to buy houses for the first time, Pollack said.

Read more of this story from the Phoenix Business Journal.