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Want to buy a home? Get in line—a long one. Part of the problem has been the pandemic and people hunkering down, not moving out of their existing digs. Another part, according to the National Association of Realtors and other experts, has been a sluggish pace of building new housing.

In its sponsored report, “Housing is Critical Infrastructure: Social and Economic Benefits of Building More Housing,” the organization notes that housing construction has fallen far from its traditional pace: “While the total stock of US housing grew at an average annual rate of 1.7% from 1968 through 2000, the US housing stock grew by an annual average rate of 1% in the last two decades, and only 0.7% in the last decade.”

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