The regulatory tax and house price appreciation in Florida
Much attention was given to the soaring price of housing that took place in different parts of the country in the 1990s and the first half of the current decade. Traditional explanations for the increase include rising land values and costs of construction, but a strand of literature, popularized by Glaeser et al. [Glaeser, Edward L., Gyourko, Joseph, Saks, Raven, 2005a. Why have housing prices gone up? National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper #11129; Glaeser, Edward L., Gyourko, Joseph, Saks, Raven, 2005b. Why is manhattan so expensive? Regulation and the rise in housing prices. The Journal of Law and Economics 48(2)], has looked at the role of land use regulations and posits that complying with them imposes a regulatory tax on housing consumers. In this paper, we apply and extend Glaeser and Gyourko's methodology in order to estimate the regulatory tax on an individual house level in a set of Florida metropolitan areas. Our novel data address some of the quality measurement concerns raised about the Glaeser and Gyourko methodology and allow us to look at the evolution of the regulatory tax over a 10-year period. We find that the tax is an important component of sales price and that as a percentage of sales price has increased in a majority of Florida's MSAs. In addition, we decompose the overall house price increase into land, materials and regulatory components and find that increasing stringency in the regulatory environment within Florida represents a substantial portion of the run-up in house prices in most metropolitan areas.
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