Real Estate

Boston Appeared on Zillow’s List of Cities with Housing Markets at “Crisis Levels”

Surprisingly, plenty of other places are worse off than us.


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Boston is number one at a lot of things. We’re America’s best city for startups, we’re ranked the top town for active living, and we’re consistently awarded the title of the smartest city in the country. But in a recent housing market report from Zillow, Boston is not number one for once—and that’s definitely a good thing.

The report identifies the 35 U.S. cities where the housing shortage is at “crisis levels.” With its shrinking inventory and famously sky-high prices, Boston, of course, made the list. But among the 15 metro areas that experienced the biggest year-over-year declines, we only clock in at number 12. (We’re not number one!)

According to Zillow, the total amount of homes on the market is down 10 percent since last year, which tallies three years in a row that inventory levels have decreased across the country.

“On the supply side, the market is starving for new homes, but it won’t be easy for builders struggling with high and rising land, labor and lumber costs,” said Aaron Terrazas, a senior economist at Zillow. “Aging millennials and young families may be able to find more affordable new homes for sale this year, but they’ll most likely be in further-flung suburbs with more grueling commutes to urban job centers.”

If you thought things were tough here, be glad you’re not struggling to find a place to live in San Jose, California. It’s the number one city where the housing shortage hurts the most, with 41 percent fewer homes on the market compared to a year ago. Boston, which has 15 percent fewer homes for sale, was also beat out by San Francisco, Denver, Las Vegas, Indianapolis, and even Columbus, Ohio.

Zillow reports the median U.S. home value rose 6.5 percent over the past year to $206,300—the highest it has ever been. And those ballooning prices, which can be chalked up to a lack of available houses and a strong demand from buyers, will continue to rise. So, we suppose Boston can take solace in the fact that we’re not alone when it comes to housing struggles. Are you comforted?