Nov 16, 2011
What does a smaller middle class mean for Virginia housing?
16 Nov 2011
Posted by Andrew Kantor
That’s the question asked by Yoomie Ahn, a member of the Board of the Virginia Housing Coalition in a column on HOME’s Take Me Home Virginia site.
The shrinking middle class isn’t anything new or surprising. Ahn references an article in The American (the magazine of the conservative American Enterprise Institute) called “What if Middle-Class Jobs Disappear?”
[F]rom 2000 to 2010 the real earnings of college graduates (with no advanced degree) fell by more in percentage terms than the earnings of high school graduates. In fact, over this period the only education category to show an increase in earnings was those with advanced degrees.
The outlook for mid-skill jobs would not appear to be bright. Communication technology and computer intelligence continue to improve, putting more occupations at risk.
And Ahn muses about what it might mean for housing:
The loss of middle-class jobs and incomes means that fewer Virginia households will earn enough to become homeowners and to pay mortgages, even with low mortgage rates and lowered single family home prices. Those households that cannot buy homes will rent, which will increase the need for apartments and rental properties.