FSIC Blog Post – Video Highlights Hidden Fees in Housing Market

In a new video, the Market Institute’s Charlie Sauer examines the rise in sales prices and interest rates of homes across the country and scrutinizes the higher-than-anticipated costs Americans face in the home-buying process.  In the video, Sauer zeroes in on zoning and land use issues, tariffs on products such as lumber and steel, and companies such as The Work Number that put upward pressure on prices.

Sauer notes that many cities have zoning practices like parking requirements and prohibitions on multi-family homes, which have made construction more expensive, and limited housing supply – exacerbating racial and economic inequality.  Zoning isn’t the only issue, though, as Sauer highlights how restrictive trade policies on major homebuilding components such as flooring, iron, and steel pipes are subject to tariffs, making housing more expensive.

As FSIC has previously written, The Work Number, an employment verification service, has raised its prices by 31% for companies to utilize its products. These costs are often hidden, passed on to consumers through loan origination or application fees, and obscured through third parties.  FSIC’s Housing Task Force has noted that because of the company’s market dominance, mortgage lenders have little choice in paying these costs, which get passed on to consumers.