Housing Market

Jacob Channel on minimum wage and housing costs

Today’s episode of HousingWire Daily features an interview with Jacob Channel, senior economic analyst at Lending Tree. Channel joins HWD to discuss a recent study released by LendingTree that looks at the relationship between employment wages and housing costs in all 50 states. 

During the episode, Channel talks about the methodology behind the study and how affordability has drastically shifted since 2000. He also discusses if a federally mandated $15-an-hour minimum wage would alleviate housing costs.

Here is a small preview of the interview, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity:

Elissa Branch: According to the report, even with $15-an-hour , a full-time worker could still only afford to spend $780 a month on housing with that 30% assumption. As national rent has obviously surpassed this total, it’s not a stretch to say that $780 is not very much. Do you think that a federal wage increase can really affect housing affordability as much as people might believe?

Jacob Channel: Well, certainly having more money will probably make a lot of people’s lives at least a little bit easier, even if it doesn’t make all their problems go away. It’s important to note that because our study defines affordability as about 30% of your pre-taxed income, that $780 figure could vary from household to household. But as a general rule, the $15-an-hour wouldn’t suddenly make housing affordable for quite a large number of people. While I do think that if a $15-per-hour minimum wage would be helpful for millions of Americans across the country, it’s not a cure all. And there’s going to have to be other steps taken to further alleviate home prices, especially for low-income families or individuals.

HousingWire Daily examines the most compelling articles reported across HW Media. Each afternoon, we provide our listeners with a deeper look into the stories coming across our newsrooms that are helping Move Markets Forward. Hosted by the HW team and produced by Alcynna Lloyd and Elissa Branch. If you have a pitch or an inquiry relating to podcasts, you can reach our team at alloyd@housingwire.com.

Below is the transcription of the interview. These transcriptions, powered by Speechpad, have been lightly edited and may contain small errors from reproduction:

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    HousingWire Daily

    Hosted by the journalists behind the headlines, HousingWire Daily examines the most compelling mortgage, real estate, and fintech articles reported from the HousingWire newsroom.

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