SEATTLE -- The booming national economy, due in large part to the increase of good paying high-tech jobs, is presenting a down side for Americans -- home purchase and rental prices are going through the roof, according to a Department of Housing and Urban Development study.
The State of the Cities 2000 report, to be released today at the US Conference of Mayors meeting, says that the nation's strong job production in high paying work has driven up the home prices at twice the rate of inflation.
Rents have gone up nearly as much. They have soared 1.5 times the inflation rate to worsen the nation's affordable housing shortfall, said HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo.
''It's a cruel irony that while most communities are doing very well in this booming new economy, the better they are doing, the more acute their shortage of affordable housing,'' Cuomo said. ''The stronger the economy, the stronger the upward pressure on rents.''
The report notes that even as the nation has enjoyed good economic times in recent years, not all the news associated with the strong economy is good.
The stronger economy is due, in part, to the expansion of job creation in cities, according to the report.
The number of private sector jobs in the nation's central cities has been growing by 8.3 percent between 1992 and 1997 with 2.3 million jobs created overall.
Of 25 metropolitan areas that are top high-tech markets, 21 had rent increases greater than inflation, according to the report.
Rents surged by more than 20 percent between 1995 and 1999 in Denver and the San Francisco Bay area while they rose by more than 15 percent in Boston, Kansas City, Atlanta, Seattle, San Diego and Chicago.
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