Monday, January 03, 2011

More Homes

Obviously a big driver of home prices is the price of land, but regulations can drive up prices too. If every housing unit has to be attached to a piece of land large enough for a car or two, that will drive up prices. If every development can only be built on 60% of a particular plot, leaving 40% of the expensive land empty, that will drive up prices. Hell, requiring that all units have a kitchen will drive up prices.

That doesn't mean all such regulations are wrong. I actually don't think parking requirements are always wrong, and I get that maintaining community character might require consistency of setbacks and similar, but we really need to consider the costs and implications of such requirements over and above the basic belief that "people need parking" or "empty grass is good." In my urban hellhole, lots of people don't need to park, and there's no reason to force people to pay for it by requiring new housing units to have it.