CBS Actually Acknowledges the Housing Market Has Serious Issues

News & Politics

In a surprising turn of events, Thursday’s CBS Mornings covered the growing issue of the housing market, especially in swing states, and an economic crisis that ripples through the rest of the economy. Even more admirable was political correspondent Ed O’Keefe explaining how crucial this topic will be in the next election.

O’Keefe went to Arizona, where the issue of affordable housing is a major problem with ownership out of reach for 42% of Arizonans in a CBS poll. He asked locals their thoughts:

MAN: Most normal people are pushed out of line.

WOMAN: Whether you’re housing, whether you’re renting, everything’s increasing.

WOMAN #2: Oh, it’s outrageous right now. At this point, we’re saying that we’re probably not going to be able to move.

A local realtor of the same area described the same issues, explaining the changes a time has made on the market: 

NATHAN CLAIRBORN: I mean, affordability is certainly the issue here. Your police, your teachers, your firefighters, they can’t afford this house.

O’KEEFE: Or this one he showed us, with three bedrooms —

CLAIRBORN: All new flooring, all the fixtures are new.

O’KEEFE: — listed for over half million dollars. This might have been 20 to 40 years ago, a starter home. 

CLAIRBORN: Yeah!

O’KEEFE: Now, this is the end goal.

CLAIRBORN: This is the move up home, yeah absolutely. 

Yet what was most important was the impact upon November’s election. After his taped report, O’Keefe said none of those interviewed had decided who they planned to vote for. Yet one thing is for sure, maybe four years ago this may not have been the situation for many:

O’KEEFE: Is it easier or harder to buy a home now than, say, it was four years ago?

GRAFT: Harder.

TUTTLE: Definitely harder.

GRAFT: Mmhm

O’KEEFE: And Clairborn agrees. [TO CLAIRBORN] It does seem increasingly like it’s out of reach for a lot of people.

CLAIRBORN: Yeah. It doesn’t just seem out of reach, it is mathematically out of reach for lots and lots of people.

Afterword, co-host Tony Dokoupil agreed:

TONY DOKOUPIL: It’s a nightmare for most people. And one of the big issues that Ed touched on is people with blue-collar jobs, cops, firefighters, nurses, they can’t live in the neighborhoods where they’re working. And a great example of that Archie Bunker, all the family, that house is in Queens, still there. I went to that neighborhood recently. Just was curious — asking people, there’s no dock workers, taxi drivers, regular people. It’s all doctors, lawyers, tech workers now….Got to fix it.

The transcript is below. Click “expand” to read:

CBS Mornings

5/30/2024

11:37:49 AM ET

MICHELLE MILLER: In today’s Money Watch, we look at one economic indicator that could hit home in the presidential election: the high cost of buying that first home and living the American dream. This may feel almost unattainable in key battleground states like Arizona where would-be buyers face housing shortages and high interest rates. Ed O’Keefe spoke with some first time buyers, in the Phoenix area.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Money Watch; Price of the American Dream; People Struggling to Buy First Home Could Help Decide Election]

ED O’KEEFE: This election year in key battleground states, the keys to a first home may feel further out of reach.

MAN: Most normal people are pushed out of line.

WOMAN: Whether you’re housing, whether you’re renting, everything’s increasing.

WOMAN #2: Oh, it’s outrageous right now. At this point, we’re saying that we’re probably not going to be able to move.

O’KEEFE: The housing market, up almost everywhere, is especially hot in Arizona. [TO CLAIRBORN] Finish this sentence, the cost of housing is —

NATHAN  CLAIRBORN: Is too high right now. There’s no question about that.

O’KEEFE: And Nathan Clairborn isn’t looking to buy a home. He sells them as a realtor in the Phoenix area.

CLAIRBORN: I mean, affordability is certainly the issue here. Your police, your teachers, your firefighters, they can’t afford this house.

O’KEEFE: Or this one he showed us, with three bedrooms —

CLAIRBORN: All new flooring, all the fixtures are new.

O’KEEFE: — listed for over half million dollars. This might have been 20 to 40 years ago, a starter home. 

CLAIRBORN: Yeah!

O’KEEFE: Now, this is the end goal.

CLAIRBORN:This is the move up home, yeah absolutely.  

O’KEEFE: In part, Clayborn says, because a lot of buyers are moving in from out of state. Now, only two percent of Arizonans say housing is very affordable while 42 percent tell the recent CBS News poll it’s very unaffordable. Like those we met at Goodwood Tavern in Scottsdale. 

JOSHUA SNYDER: You guys doing okay over here?

O’KEEFE: Joshua Snyder runs the bar. He’s 45 and is closing tomorrow on the first home he’s owned. [TO SNYDER] Did you get everything you were looking for?

SNYDER: I think we did. 

O’KEEFE: But it took years of looking, as prices kept going up.

SNYDER: I feel like it jumped 40 percent – 30, 40 percent in three years.

O’KEEFE: Our poll finds 88 percent of Arizonans say buying a home is harder than it was for their parents.

LAURA NEWKIRK: Cause when my parents were my age they had owned a home and had been for a couple of years.

O’KEEFE: Laura Newkirk’s parents helped her save for a down payment.

RYLAND TUTTLE: I think we’re on our fourth or fifth offer.

O’KEEFE: And you’ve come up short each time?

KELSEY GRAFT: Yes.

TUTTLE: So far. [Laughter]

O’KEEFE: So Ryland Tuttle and Kelsey Graft, moved in with family to save. [TO TUTTLE AND GRAFT] Is it easier or harder to buy a home now than, say, it was four years ago?

GRAFT: Harder.

TUTTLE: Definitely harder.

GRAFT: Mmhm

O’KEEFE: And Clairborn agrees. [TO CLAIRBORN] It does seem increasingly like it’s out of reach for a lot of people.

CLAIRBORN: Yeah. It doesn’t just seem out of reach, it is mathematically out of reach for lots and lots of people.

[Cuts to Live]

O’KEEFE: Out on the campaign trail, President Biden, former President Donald Trump, they hear these concerns, they’ve been talking about concerns about the price and  the supply of housing and notably, every one of the voters we spoke to, in Arizona, says they haven’t made up their mind come November, but the issue of housing — how much it costs, whether there is supply will be a big factor in who they ultimately vote for, Nate. Perhaps not surprising they haven’t made up their mind. After all, they live in a battleground state.

NATE BULESON: Right about that, top of mind for everyone across the country. Ed, thank you. The American dream

TONY DOKOUPIL: Oh gosh

BURLESON: It’s a nightmare for some people.

DOKOUPIL: It’s a nightmare for most people. And one of the big issues that Ed touched on is people with blue- collar jobs, cops, firefighters, nurses, they can’t live in the neighborhoods where they’re working.

BURLESON: Right!

DOKOUPIL: And a great example of that Archie Bunker, all the family, that house is in Queens, still there. I went to that neighborhood recently. Just was curious —

MILLER: Mm-mm.

DOKOUPIL: — asking people, there’s no dock workers, taxi drivers, regular people. It’s all doctors, lawyers, tech workers now. 

BURLESON: Mm-mm.

DOKOUPIL: That’s the change.

MILLER: Yeah.

BURLESON: That’s the change.

MILLER: There’s a big push to live in urban centers now.

BURLESON: You’re right about that.

DOKOUPIL: Got to, got to fix it

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