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Tennant's Unions Demand Biden Declare a National Emergency to Stop Rent Gouging

A group demand nation action by the President and six government agencies to control the price of rent.
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Rent Inflation Emergency Homes Guarantee

Please consider a People's Action plea on the Rent Inflation National Emergency.

 The President must act immediately to regulate rents, as part of the Administration’s efforts to curb inflation, and as a critical foundation for long term protections to correct the imbalance of power between tenants and their landlords.  

The group seeks a state of emergency and action by six government agencies including the FTC, SEC, HUD, FHA, US Treasury, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It also seeks a Homes Guarantee Act. 

The Washington Post reports Soaring Rent prices Have Advocates Calling on White House to Intervene.

“We urge the President to act immediately to regulate rents, as part of the Administration’s efforts to curb inflation, and as a critical foundation for long term protections to correct the imbalance of power between tenants and their landlords,” the coalition wrote in a memo sent to National Economic Council Director Brian Deese and other White House advisers.

The effort, part of a campaign called Homes Guarantee, comes one week after the White House held a summit on its efforts to prevent evictions during the pandemic and keep financial support flowing to struggling renters. During an online forum, White House officials touted progress under the Emergency Rental Assistance program, which was propped up in the thick of the coronavirus crisis to stave off a wave of evictions once a federal moratorium was no longer in place.

While the money was exceedingly slow to go out at first, the program ramped up. About $40 billion of a $46 billion pot has been obligated or spent, according to the Treasury Department, and eviction filings nationally remain below their historical averages.

If $40 of $46 billion of an eviction prevention pot is now used up, what will Biden do for an encore? 

White House Summit on Building Lasting Eviction Prevention Reform

I don't advise listening to this as it drones on for two hours, but here is a White House video on eviction prevention.

White House Five Year Plan

On May 16, the White House announced a "New Biden-Harris Administration Housing Supply Action Plan To Help Close the Housing Supply Gap in Five Years."

Snowballing US Rental Crisis

Single Family Rent Surge

Bloomberg reports The Snowballing US Rental Crisis Is Sparing Nowhere and No One.

Rental costs in the US are soaring at the fastest pace in more than three decades, surpassing a median of $2,000 a month for the first time ever and pushing rents above pre-pandemic levels in most major cities. Increases are particularly steep in metropolitan areas that saw large influxes of new residents during the pandemic, but the rental market is sparing almost nowhere and no one.

While the affordability crisis in the US is not new, it has snowballed over the past year as people returned to big cities and some areas short on housing supply saw a boom of new residents. Demand for rentals has soared, with many would-be homebuyers backing out of the market after mortgage rates jumped this year as a result of the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest-rate hikes. 

CPI Rent Indexes

CPI Month-Over-Month OER and Rent 2022-07

Rent of Primary Residence 

  • March +0.4%
  • April +0.5%
  • May +0.6%
  • June +0.8%
  • July +0.7%

None of this is a surprise, at least it shouldn't be a surprise as I have been talking about this for months. 

On August 5, I commented The Next CPI Report: Expect Hot Rent, Tame Energy, Rent Matters More

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The preceding chart shows rent did indeed surge another 0.7 percent. More big jumps are still in the pipeline for a least another few months.

Annual Change in Median Rent 

Annual Change in Median Rent 2022-07

Year-to-date rent increases are well behind the pace of 2021 but are nearly double the 2018 pace and nearly triple the 2019 pace.

Rent of Primary Residence and OER combined are over 31 percent of the CPI.

National Rent, OER, Rent of Primary Residence 

Rent data from ApartmentList.Com, chart by Mish

Rent data from ApartmentList.Com, chart by Mish

That chart preceded the Wednesday CPI data. 

Key Difference to BLS

Although Apartment List uses repeat rents of the same or similar unit and prices are are actual prices, not asking prices, it only shows new leases, not repeat leases.

Because new leases on vacant units rise much more rapidly than existing leases, its year-over-year numbers rise or fall faster and in greater magnitude.

The National Rent price reflects year-over-year changes, but in reality, people pay the same amount of rent for 12 months then there is one big price jump 13 months later.

That accounts for the BLS lag.

The rate of increases is slowing but the pace is still strong. 

CPI Month-Over-Month Was Unchanged, Year-Over-Year Up 8.5 Percent

For the latest CPI report, please see CPI Month-Over-Month Was Unchanged, Year-Over-Year Up 8.5 Percent.

Also note Food at Home is Up 13.1 Percent From a Year Ago, Most Since February 1979

This post originated on MishTalk.Com.

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