New housing units are not keeping up with the growth of U.S. families, leaving the nation with a shortage of homes that is growing year over year and driving the housing affordability crisis.

Even with a pandemic-related boost in construction, the U.S. housing shortage increased to 4.5 million homes in 2022, up from a shortage of 4.3 million homes in 2021, according to an analysis by Zillow. The trend is a symptom of basic supply and demand. U.S. families grew by 1.8 million while new houses only increased by 1.4 million.

"The simple fact is there are not enough homes in this country, and that's pushing homeownership out of reach for too many families," said Orphe Divounguy, senior economist at Zillow. "The affordability crisis extends to renters as well, with nearly half of renter households being cost-burdened."

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