Recently I wrote about how construction since the Recession has not kept pace with population increases and household formations leaving the nation with millions fewer homes than it needs, which has driven up prices. Because construction isn’t keeping up the supply end of things, people are staying in their homes longer – especially older people.

You see, the real estate market is a “circle of life” industry whereby the young start out small and move their way up until the kids are gone and they’re older, at which point they downsize to lower-maintenance properties. This makes room for the next generation to move up to the next level.

According to FreddieMac, 1.6 million senior-owned homes are not shuffling along the real estate conveyor belt to make way for a new generation. That’s essentially a typical year’s worth of new construction and over half the estimated 2.5 million home deficit the country struggles with due to over a decade of underbuilding.

The hot term is “aging in place” and I see the appeal of living independently – just maybe not in an oversized house I can’t take care of. Of course part of the reason those 1.6 million senior homeowners aren’t moving is because there’s nowhere to move. It’s not like the construction industry was building retirement facilities instead of homes for the past decade.  There’s not a ton of empty Shady Pines and Gossamer Meadows out there gathering dust.

And that’s not all.

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…and you still happily shop here.

One of life’s joys is the “I told you so,” because it is so often precluded by a period of scorn and disbelief. Last week I had a bumper crop, but let’s talk about Amazon’s HQ2.

You remember that? The corporate welfare pageant where municipalities fell over themselves, checkbooks flailing in the breeze, trying to lure Amazon to places its corporate relocation team had already picked? Yeah, that.

The Metroplex was one of those entries, and we even made it past the first culling before being sent home roseless, our taxpayer checkbook tucked firmly between our legs. New York may have kicked them out, but Amazon continues to hire there, albeit fewer than the 25,000 expected from their half of HQ2. Amazon wanted a presence in New York regardless of the freebies.

On the other hand, Virginia, happy to accept the Amazon bouquet, has seen home prices surge by 17 percent while property owners hoping for more, have caused new listings to crater – one zip code near HQ2 saw an 85.3 percent decrease in new listings. This has essentially frozen the market and caused property tax bills to swell.  Everyone’s expecting that once hiring picks up with HQ2, the lid will be blown off valuations. The same thing is playing out in the rental market especially in areas with the lowest rents as REITs and investors move in.

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While the city tries hard to keep up with the influx of new residents with new water towers, housing is still a tight market it Midland.

While the city tries hard to keep up with the influx of new residents with new water towers, housing is still a tight market it Midland.

This report from the Texas Tribune tells a scary tale for troubled children and teens in the fast-growing areas of Midland-Odessa. It’s impossible to find housing in the oil-boom areas of West Texas, which means that critical workers, including state Child Protective Services caseworkers, have no place to live.

This has resulted in a necessary transciency for some staffers of the over-taxed CPS offices that oversee Midland and Odessa, which may mean that some cases and some children who are victims of abuse are slipping through the cracks:

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