Anyone who’s house-shopped recently knows that a historic shortage of inventory is driving the housing market to extremes — rapid-fire sales, soaring prices .

But a new report released this week by the National Association of Realtors put the dearth of homes in even starker terms.

The state of the country’s housing stock is “dire,” “with a severe lack of new construction and prolonged underinvestment leading to an acute shortage of available housing” and “an ever-worsening affordability crisis,” it reads. The gap between the demand and supply of homes is between 5.5 million and 6.8 million units because of a dramatic slowdown in new construction, according to the report. It was authored by Rosen Consulting Group, a real estate consulting firm based in New York and Berkeley, Calif., for the Realtors’ association.

Related: Tampa Bay’s April home sales slightly down as inventory shortage persists

The U.S. housing…

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