Study Finds NIMBYism, Construction Costs Largest Barriers To New Housing
At its heart, the problem is simply supply and demand: The cost of housing won’t go down until there is more housing.
But building new housing is becoming more expensive and more rigorous every day. As the need for affordable housing grows, land and labor prices are shooting up. Community resistance is calcifying, making it harder than ever to build the dense residences that are the best solution to the housing shortage.
The National Apartment Association’s Barriers to Apartment Construction report studied 58 U.S. metropolitan areas and ranked them on how difficult it is to construct multifamily buildings in each market.
“There are so many factors at play,” said Paula Munger, AVP of industry research and analysis at NAA, who spearheaded the new report. “We have to keep the conversation going on affordable housing, and make sure everyone understands the complexity involved.”
Perhaps the most surprising result of the report was the extent to which community involvement slows down construction. Public outcry and NIMBYism consistently outranked almost all other barriers to construction in NAA’s index, and in a qualitative survey of public officials, it ranked as the top barrier to construction.
The markets that ranked as easiest to build in are midsized cities with few density and growth restrictions. Topping the list was Albuquerque, New Mexico, followed by Greenwood, South Carolina, and Dayton, Ohio.