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Is Housing Unaffordable? Why Isn't It More Affordable?

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  • Quigley, John M.
  • Raphael, Steven

Abstract

This paper reviews trends in housing affordability in the U.S. over the past four decades. There is little evidence that owner-occupied housing has become less affordable. In contrast, there have been modest increases in the fraction of income that the median renter household devotes to housing. We find pronounced increases in the rent burdens for poor households. We explore the low-income rental market, analyzing the importance of changes in the income distribution, and in housing quality in affecting rent burdens. We conclude that zoning and land use restrictions are more important factors driving up rents. We also sketch out some policies that might improve housing affordability.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy in its series Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series with number qt1vp9j3k0.

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Date of creation: 16 Jun 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:bphupl:qt1vp9j3k0

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Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences;

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References

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  1. Stephen Malpezzi, 1994. "Housing Prices, Externalities, and Regulation in U.S. Metropolitan Areas," Wisconsin-Madison CULER working papers 94-08, University of Wisconsin Center for Urban Land Economic Research.
  2. Thorson, James A., 1997. "The Effect of Zoning on Housing Construction," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 81-91, March.
  3. Donald R. Haurin & Toby L. Parcel & R. Jean Haurin, 2002. "Does Homeownership Affect Child Outcomes?," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 30(4), pages 635-666.
  4. Richard K. Green & Stephen Malpezzi & Stephen K. Mayo, 1999. "Metropolitan-Specific Estimates of the Price Elasticity of Supply of Housing, and Their Sources," Wisconsin-Madison CULER working papers 99-16, University of Wisconsin Center for Urban Land Economic Research.
  5. Rosen, Harvey S & Rosen, Kenneth T & Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 1984. "Housing Tenure, Uncertainty, and Taxation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(3), pages 405-16, August.
  6. DiPasquale, Denise & Glaeser, Edward L., 1999. "Incentives and Social Capital: Are Homeowners Better Citizens?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 354-384, March.
  7. Quigley, John M., 2002. "A Decent Home: Housing Policy in Perspective," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt8f57x42q, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
  8. Maclennan, Duncan & Muellbauer, John & Stephens, Mark, 1998. "Asymmetries in Housing and Financial Market Institutions and EMU," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 54-80, Autumn.
  9. Richard Voith, 1999. "Does the federal tax treatment of housing affect the pattern of metropolitan development?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Mar, pages 3-16.
  10. Henry O. Pollakowski & Susan M. Wachter, 1990. "The Effects of Land-Use Constraints on Housing Prices," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 66(3), pages 315-324.
  11. Mayo, Stephen K., 1981. "Theory and estimation in the economics of housing demand," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 95-116, July.
  12. James A. Thorson, 1996. "An Examination of the Monopoly Zoning Hypothesis," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 72(1), pages 43-55.
  13. Sweeney, James L., 1974. "A commodity hierarchy model of the rental housing market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 288-323, July.
  14. Richard K. Green, 1997. "Land Use Regulation and the Price of Housing in a Suburban Wisconsin County," Wisconsin-Madison CULER working papers 97-04, University of Wisconsin Center for Urban Land Economic Research.
  15. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2003. "The impact of building restrictions on housing affordability," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jun, pages 21-39.
  16. Mayer, Christopher J. & Somerville, C. Tsuriel, 2000. "Land use regulation and new construction," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 639-662, December.
  17. O'Flaherty, B., 1995. "An Economic Theory of Homelessness and Housing," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 13-49, March.
  18. Quigley, John M. & Raphael, Steven & Smolensky, Eugene, 2002. "Homeless in America, Homeless in California," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt4v61c0ws, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
  19. Stephen Malpezzi & Richard K. Green, 1995. "What’s Happened to the Bottom of the Housing Market?," Wisconsin-Madison CULER working papers 95-16, University of Wisconsin Center for Urban Land Economic Research.
  20. Albert Saiz, 2003. "Room in the Kitchen for the Melting Pot: Immigration and Rental Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 502-521, August.
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