Right to Work States Better For Homebuyers

According to a nationwide survey conducted late last year by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 95% of renters aged 34 and under want to own a home in the future. Among renters of all ages, a still-hefty 83% desire to own.

The NAR also found that by far the most common reason offered by renters for why they haven’t bought a house yet is that they can’t afford one. But fortunately, single-family housing is far more affordable in some regions of the country than in others. And U.S. Census Bureau data have long shown that making the transition from renter to homeowner is far less difficult in Right to Work states than in states where employees aren’t protected from compulsory unionism.

For example, the BOC’s tracking of privately-owned, single-unit housing authorizations in the 50 states (see the link below) shows that there were 3.02 permits for construction of privately-owned, single-unit houses per 1000 residents in the 25 Right to Work states as a group last year. That’s well over double the average of 1.35 per 1000 residents in the 25 forced-unionism states.

The correlation between Right to Work laws prohibiting forced union dues and fees and single-unit housing authorizations is quite robust. Thirteen of the 15 states with the most authorizations of such housing are Right to Work states. But all of the 11 bottom-ranking states (Alaska, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia) are forced-unionism.

Of course, housing authorizations are only one of manifold pieces of evidence pointing to higher living standards and faster economic growth in Right to Work states. Later this month, the National Institute for Labor Relations Research will publish the latest update of a fact sheet that provides a short summary of this body of evidence.

In 2015, 47.9% of Americans lived in one of the 25 Right to Work states, but 67.4% of all new single-unit housing authorizations occurred in such states. Image: Genworth