According to recent data, the lack of available housing in the U.S. is pushing the rich into increasingly substandard living conditions — including homes that lack indoor swimming pools and which feature laminate floors instead of hardwood.
The finding came from a recent economic report issued by the Association for Statistical Study and Emerging Sciences, an industry think tank that examines socioeconomic issues plaguing the wealthiest Americans.
“In an environment where housing inventory is low and homebuilders are scrambling to catch up, the rich simply can’t find the homes that meet their stringent expectations,” said Brenda Puddleduck, one of the researchers behind the study. “There simply aren’t enough luxury palaces with marble countertops and indoor theaters to go around. It’s a crisis that’s going to deepen unless the government takes immediate action.”
Homebuilding slowed after the Great Recession, as capital and resources were diverted from Main Street to help bail out prosperous Wall Street bankers. Demand for extravagant housing dropped to historical lows, prompting regulators to take desperate measures to re-inflate a sagging housing bubble.
Today, thanks to massive quantitative easing and rampant speculating on Wall Street, the rich once again are spending gobs of ill-earned money. The problem, however, is that due to a lack of building, demand for luxurious housing has far outpaced supply.
Molly Snotbucket, a condescending stockbroker who charges clients to gamble their money, said her dreams were dashed when she went house hunting recently for a palatial mansion.
“I was looking at homes in the $2 million price range,” she said, “and all I could find were 5-year-old hovels with outdated oak cabinetry and brass light fixtures. I felt like I was wandering through a homeless shelter.”
The devastation facing the wealthy has prompted one lawmaker to introduce a bill mandating that dinky affordable-housing units be torn down to make way for new luxury-home communities.
“Our country is facing a new sort of housing crisis,” said Bronson Von Dimwit III, a state senator from an undisclosed state. “One solution is to use eminent domain to tear down aging single-family homes, which will make way for new gated golf-course communities.”
Indeed, more city councils across the nation are rejecting proposals for single-family communities, demanding that homebuilders instead focus on constructing opulent McMansions for the country’s underserved elite.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” said Dimwit III. “The problem is that we’re lagging behind where we need to be. The severe shortage of mansions has put us in a dire situation.”
Some rich people have resorted to extraordinary measures to find acceptable housing.
Wilbur Punkster, a tech entrepreneur who makes gobs of money selling the private data of his products’s users, said that he had to renovate his new home recently to add an indoor racetrack and gymnasium.
“Basically, I had to spend extra money on things that should have come with the house,” he said. “And not only that, but I had to spend two whole weeks in the east wing while the crews completed their work. There’s not even a hot tub over there. I felt like a prisoner in my own home.”
It’s not all doom and gloom, however. According to the study, there may be a silver lining on the horizon.
“With rising interest rates tempering demand among low- and middle-income Americans, fewer people are entering the housing market,” Puddleduck said. “This shift will allow homebuilders to focus on the needs of the rich. Maybe then, the people who truly matter will see some much-needed relief.”