CBS Acknowledges Housing Market Crisis and Its Potential Electoral Consequences

In a rare moment of candor, CBS Mornings recently covered the growing issue of the housing market, particularly in swing states, and the economic crisis that could result. Political correspondent Ed O’Keefe traveled to Arizona, where a CBS poll found that homeownership is out of reach for 42% of residents.

Interviews with local Arizonans revealed the depth of the problem. “Most normal people are pushed out of line,” one man said, while a woman noted, “Whether you’re housing, whether you’re renting, everything’s increasing.” Another woman expressed her frustration, stating, “Oh, it’s outrageous right now. At this point, we’re saying that we’re probably not going to be able to move.”

Local realtor Nathan Clairborn provided further insight, pointing to a three-bedroom home listed for over half a million dollars as an example of the affordability crisis. “This might have been 20 to 40 years ago, a starter home,” O’Keefe observed, to which Clairborn responded, “Yeah! This is the move up home, yeah absolutely.”

The segment’s focus on the housing market’s impact on the upcoming election was particularly noteworthy. As O’Keefe explained, none of the interviewees had decided who they would vote for, but they all agreed that buying a home is harder now than it was four years ago. Clairborn underscored this point, stating, “It doesn’t just seem out of reach, it is mathematically out of reach for lots and lots of people.”

Recent data from Redfin supports these observations, with the median U.S. home sale price reaching a record high of $387,600 during the four weeks ending May 19, a 4% increase from a year ago. The corresponding monthly mortgage payment at this price, factoring in the current median interest rate of 7.02% for a 30-year mortgage, is now a staggering $2,854.

As co-host Tony Dokoupil acknowledged, “It’s a nightmare for most people.” He pointed out that blue-collar workers, such as cops, firefighters, and nurses, can no longer afford to live in the neighborhoods where they work. “Got to fix it,” he concluded.

With both President Biden and former President Donald Trump addressing the high cost and supply of housing on the campaign trail, it’s clear that the housing market’s challenges will be a central focus for many voters in the upcoming election.