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The Year in Housing: The Middle Class Can’t Afford to Live in Cities Anymore

Dickerson says cities could go a step further than that by requiring developers to set aside housing for people who actually work in the city in exchange for tax breaks. This would also, she thinks, be less controversial to NIMBY-minded residents.

Lin, meanwhile, predicts more cities will follow New York City’s lead in fighting back against the AirBnB effect in 2017, which would also help ease the pressure on housing supply.

Middle class would-be residents can also look to a few bright spots. Thanks to the Great Recession, many millennials delayed marriage and children until they were more financially stable, and Shulman says they may now be reaching the age where they are ready for those big life milestones. He notes that in 2016, many millennials began to buy homes in the suburbs, seeking better school systems and more space.

Additionally, interest rates are expected to rise and the economic outlook in response to Trump’s presidency is so far relatively optimistic, as evidenced by the surging stock market in December. This bodes well for wage growth, which Shulman and his colleagues at UCLA expect to see over the next two years. All of this could help the middle class grow their savings. But for now, they’ll be doing it from the suburbs.

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