The ultimate irony is that increasing government intervention in the housing market over the years has generally made housing less affordable than before, by any standard.
A hundred years ago, Americans spent a smaller percentage of their incomes on housing than they do today. In 1901, housing costs took 23 percent of the average American's income. By 2003, it took 33 percent of a far larger income.
In particular places where government regulations and restrictions have been especially severe, such as coastal California, rents or monthly mortgage payments have averaged as high as 50 percent of the average person's income.
~ Thomas Sowell, "Lured to Disaster," Townhall.com, January 20, 2009