Exporting A Housing Problem

Is it possible to import growth without also importing housing problems? “I can’t point to a city that has done it right.”  That’s the big question Conor Doughtry is asking over at the New York Times.

THE GOOD: In Idaho, home prices rose 20 percent in 2020, according to Zillow.  Why?  Doughtry explains for the past several years, “Idaho has been one of the fastest-growing states, with the largest share of new residents coming from California.”

THE BAD: Rising costs are great for current homeowners, but skyrocketing prices keep many from becoming first-time homeowners, “Housing costs are relative, of course, so anyone leaving Los Angeles or San Francisco will find almost any other city to have a bountiful selection of homes that seem unbelievably large and cheap. But for those tethered to the local economy, the influx of wealthier outsiders pushes housing costs further out of reach.”

THE BIPARTISAN:  This is one o the few issues where both sides of the aisle agree and amazingly they both are wrong.  “The problem is that opposition to new housing also has bipartisan agreement. Blue cities full of people who say they want a more equitable society consistently vote to push housing costs onto others. They will vote for higher taxes to fund social programs, but also make sure that whatever affordable housing does get built is built far away from them. Red suburbs full of people who say regulation should be minimal and property rights protected insist that their local governments legislate a million little rules that dictate what can be built where. What does it mean to respect property rights? In zoning fights, it gets fuzzy.”

Read More @ New York Times