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Senator Cynthia Lummis Talks Housing Shortage In The Cowboy State

Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)

With the rising costs of rent, building supplies, higher mortgage interest rates, as well as inflation, the lack of affordable housing has become an issue.  Not just in Park County, but across the Cowboy State.

U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) addressed Wyoming’s current housing shortage in a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs committing hearing. According to a new report released by the Wyoming Community Development Authority, Wyoming currently needs to build between 20,000-38,000 new housing units this decade to keep up with the increasing demands across the state.

“Across the country, unnecessary red tape and sky-high inflation rates have raised housing prices and dramatically slowed down new construction and renovation projects, creating an especially untenable situation for rural areas across Wyoming,” said Lummis “While this administration continues to haphazardly throw money at the problem, I am working with my colleagues to move forward with commonsense changes to federal programs so we can better meet housing demands in the Cowboy State.”

Annual rental price growth is still way below pre-pandemic averages, according to the latest rental data from Zillow, the real estate website, for February 2024. Rent prices are now 29.9% higher than they were before the pandemic, but rental growth seems to have slowed from the major spikes of 2021.

Since March of 2022, the Fed has regularly increased the federal funds rate, a key overnight bank lending rate, in an attempt to combat inflation, which has caused consumers to face higher commercial interest rates, especially mortgage rates. But good news for borrowers — interest rate cuts are expected for later this year.

Mortgage rates have gone up to record-level highs, with the average 30-year mortgage rate hitting a 21-year high in August of last year. According to Freddie Mac,  the average 30-year mortgage rate was nearly 7%.

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