Patrick Carroll writes:
Simply put, the primary reason housing prices are soaring is because the supply is being limited while the demand is growing.
With respect to supply, there are basically two ways to expand: up and out. On the one hand, cities can build taller, higher-density residences. On the other hand, they can build on new land at the outskirts of the city.
The problem is that both of these options are seriously unpopular. With respect to building up, many people are fiercely opposed to high-density developments in their local communities, and as a result, most municipalities have strict zoning laws that prevent or at least limit these kinds of initiatives.
If you suggest building out, however, you quickly encounter the wrath of environmentalists who are on a mission to mitigate urban sprawl, and the environmentalists have passed many land-use regulations, too.
And just doing one isn’t enough. You need to be able to build both up and out. But sadly many of those who support building up bitterly oppose building out.