Zoning and Housing Costs: The Impact of Land-Use Controls on Housing Price

By Lynne B. Sagalyn; George Sternlieb | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
METHOLOGY

The Price of New Single-Family Housing
The cost of new housing has increased dramatically during the past decade. Soaring land prices and construction costs coupled with consumer affluence and increased household formation have contributed significantly. From 1963 to 1969, the median sales price of new housing in the United States increased from $18,000 to $26,600. For the Northeast section of the country, the respective figures were $20,300 and $30,500.1This same ten-year period has also seen an upgrading of suburban zoning and subdivision requirements throughout the country. Although there is ample literature depicting the existence of such exclusionary controls, there is no adequate explanation of their consequences for the market price of new houses. The literature has primarily been of three types:
1. philosophical and/or fiscal rationales either supporting or opposing such land use controls;
2. municipal cost revenue studies based on different types of community growth at different densities; studies of engineering costs involved in residential development;
3. commentaries on the questionable legality of such measures, often including a review of recent judicial decisions as well as suggested zoning alternatives.

This research study departs from these approaches by concentrating on the quantitative impact of exclusionary land use controls on the purchase price of newly constructed single-family housing. A linear multiple regression analysis is performed on data generated by current field work in New Jersey.

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1
1969 HUD Statistical Yearbook, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ( Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1971), Table 6S101, page 380.

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