Max Holleran's book, Richard Schragger's law review article, and randos on Twitter all find pessimistic views on housing supply from a paper by Xiaodi Li. But the paper is asking a narrow question and yielding an optimistic answer. This post tries to provide some context.EDITED 3/3: I've edited … [Read more...]
The Homeownership Society Can Be Fixed
Jerusalem Demsas is an eloquent and forceful voice on housing policy. In a recent article, she asked this question: "How do we ensure that housing is both appreciating in value for homeowners but cheap enough for all would-be homeowners to buy in?" She answered her own question "We can’t."I … [Read more...]
Should governments nudge land assembly?
For a reading group, I recently read two papers about the costs and (in)efficiencies around land assembly. One advocated nudging small landowners into land assembly; the other is an implicit caution against doing so.Graduated Density ZoningAlthough he's mostly known for parking research and … [Read more...]
Is affordability just, “You get what you pay for”?
In a tweet this week, the Welcoming Neighbors Network recommended that pro-housing advocates keep supply-and-demand arguments in their back pockets and emphasize simpler housing composition arguments:https://twitter.com/WNNProHousing/status/1582157909827653636This advice makes an … [Read more...]
How big is the housing shortage?
Land for sale. Photo: appaloosa (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)Two teams of researchers recently released estimates of the U.S. housing shortage - and they differ by a factor of five. Is the national shortage 20 million homes or just 4 million? With a range that big, both published by pro-housing groups, … [Read more...]
Financialization and housing costs
One common explanation for high rents is something called "financialization." Literally, this term of course makes no sense: any form of investment, good or bad, involves finances.But I think that the most common non-incoherent use of the term is something like this: rich people and … [Read more...]
Why rents aren’t keeping up with house prices
Global house prices have been out of control for quite some time. This has helped to reduce economic growth, increase unemployment and was even diagnosed as the greatest cause of inequality in the developed world in a 2016 paper by Matthew Rognlie. However, rents have failed to show the same … [Read more...]
Latest rent research
A recent paper by UCLA researchers discusses 2019-20 literature on the relationship between new construction and rents. The article discusses five papers; four of them found that new housing consistently lowers rents in nearby buildings.For example, Kate Pennington wrote a paper on the … [Read more...]