Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The current housing market looks a bit like a game of increasingly competitive musical chairs: not enough homes for everybody who wants to claim one.

Why it matters: The latest snapshot of the housing market shows how trends that predate the pandemic — a shortage of skilled labor and growing demand for homes — have been hyper-charged over the past year. 

The context: Home ownership has long been an aspiration for many Americans, and is a primary source of building and passing down generational wealth.

  • The housing industry has suffered from a lack of skilled laborers for decades. Builders have also faced rising land costs, land scarcity, growing regulatory requirements and longer permitting processes.
  • Meanwhile, America needs more homes. “Homes are damaged every year, there are natural disasters, fires; they get old, become obsolete [and] unlivable, so they need to be replaced,” Danielle Hale, Realtor.com’s chief economist, tells Axios.

By the numbers: The total number of homes available for sale has dwindled over the last year, contracting by 21% as of April, according to a report Friday from the National Association of Realtors.

  • There was a four-month supply of unsold inventory in April of last year, but that sunk to a near-record low (since 1982) of 2.4 months' worth this April.
  • Amid the demand, homes are selling faster. The average home that sold in April was on the market for just 17 days, compared to 27 days in April of last year.

Median existing-home sales prices jumped 19% nationally over the last year, to $341,600.

  • The rising home prices have so far done little to quell demand. That's in part because the relative "affordability" of homes is still attractive, based on average incomes and interest rates, Goldman Sachs analysts wrote in a recent research note.

What they’re saying: Sellers are buyers too — and they’ve been reluctant to put their homes on the market if they don’t feel confident that they will have another home to move into, Hale says.

Between the lines: Expect the current imbalance of supply to demand to continue for the next few years.

  • The number of buyers will continue to grow as millennials age into their 30s, outpacing the time it will take to fix deeply-rooted supply chain issues, writes Goldman Sachs analysts.

What to watch: Home prices will continue to rise and shift the imbalance slightly, analysts say. But that will also push rent prices up, adding to the pressure households may feel as overall inflation grows.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Aug 28, 2021 - Technology

It's time to build — and tech is helping

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

New tech could help bring the construction sector — which has been persistently less productive than others — into the 21st century.

Why it matters: Sluggish productivity in construction raises costs and contributes to America's severe housing crisis.

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest.

Why it matters: The atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, was causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood, as it slowly moved south overnight. It's triggered widespread power outages, flooding and mudslides.

In photos: Drought-ravaged California lashed by major storm

Workers try to divert water into drains as rain pours down on Oct. 24 in Marin City, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A major storm system was pummeling Northern California and parts of the Pacific Northwest with heavy rains overnight.

The big picture: "Atmospheric river" storms, associated with a record-strong "bomb cyclone" offshore from the Pacific Northwest, have brought flooding and mudslides to parts of California that were razed by recent wildfires and in severe drought. It's also caused widespread power outages in California and Washington state.