Folks who oppose development often have some theories that are dramatically at odds with both economic theory and commonsense. “Building dense new housing doesn’t bring prices down because there’s an inexhaustible supply of foreign buyers wanting to purchase houses at inflated prices and keep them empty” isn’t a very sound economic theory. But folks who are pro-development often don’t exactly use the most sophisticated economics themselves. “Supply and demand” isn’t so much “Econ 101” as “the back cover of the Econ textbook you never opened”.
In this section, we aim to add a missing middle to the conversation, something between a detailed academic course on housing economics and the cartoonish versions heard in many local housing debates. In this area, we try to understand the incentives and constraints that housing developers and consumers face, as well as the real costs of housing construction at all scales.
Table of Contents
- Construction types with a particular eye toward how much they cost to build.
- Affordaville, a model city to understand how construction costs and consumer demand combine to define how much housing gets produced and how much it costs.
- Restrictia, another model city that has a more restrictive zoning code, to help us model the effects that zoning has on the types of and prices of housing.
- How land gets valued.
- Measuring housing markets using some popular measures.
- Our new favorite housing measurement: land value ratio.