housing is affordable by a decreasing percentage of the population
A smaller and smaller percentage of the population is able to afford reasonable housing, despite large numbers of residential buildings standing unoccupied.This is largely due to issue #110, via at least two mechanisms:
- There's gain for sellers in targeting the few who have significantly more money, due to the large marginal gain of selling at a somewhat higher price, effectively pricing things out of range of most potential buyers,
- Banks artificially inflate the demand by offering loans to potential buyers – but only on condition of long-term servitude to the plutonomy, and only to those found sufficiently valuable – further increasing apparent "market value" of housing while also deepening the gap between those who can afford it and those who cannot.
- Over the long term, this also causes more financial fragility among those at the edge of the "haves", leading to more bankruptcies and a decreasing number of "haves" over the long run, while also increasing the idea of housing as an "investment" for those more solidly within the "haves". Both ends of this process worsen issue #110.