The News: A new study from the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) found that federal interventions in the housing market, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, served to raise the price of an average Wisconsin home by as much as $11,000. As the cost of an average home in Wisconsin continues to rise to $240,000, the federal eviction moratorium is responsible for more than $3,000 of the increase, and the mortgage forbearance program is responsible for as much as $11,000.
The Quote: WILL Research Director, Will Flanders, said, “With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government took extraordinary steps to mitigate the effects. Our goal was to measure the cost of these interventions so the public and policymakers can better understand the unintended consequences of well-intentioned polices.”
Diving Deeper: WILL Research Director, Will Flanders, authored Priced Out: The Unintended Consequences of Federal Moratoriums on Wisconsin’s Housing Market, to better determine the impact of extraordinary federal interventions in the housing market during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act, passed in March 2020, included a federal eviction moratorium and a federally-backed mortgage forbearance program to keep Americans in their homes during the health and economic disruption. The two programs lasted well into 2021. In Wisconsin, Flanders found:
- Housing prices have increased significantly in Wisconsin. The average price of a home has increased by more than 37% since January 2019 from about $175,000 to $240,000 by December of 2021.
- The eviction moratorium likely increased housing prices. The implementation of this program is associated with an increase of $3,664 in the average cost of a home in Wisconsin. This represents about 5.4% of the overall increase in the price of a home.
- The forbearance option likely increased housing prices. The implementation of these programs is associated with an increase of $11,354 in the average cost of a home in Wisconsin. This represents about 17.4% of the overall increase in the price of a home.
- Housing price increases aren’t limited to cities. Some of the largest percentage increases in the average cost of a home occurred in rural counties.
- Priced Out: The Unintended Consequences of Federal Moratoriums on Wisconsin’s Housing Market, Will Flanders, March 7, 2022
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