Burdensome Housing Regulations Contributing to Migration to “Red States”?

December 15, 2014 at 7:11 pm Leave a comment

An interesting piece at Vox.com highlights the role that overly-restrictive zoning is playing in the exodus from “Blue” states to “Red” states:

Whatever else Blue America has going for it, it’s done a terrible job of generating enough housing supply to accommodate all the people who might like to live there. So in addition to the traditional southward migration of retirees, you now see a substantial net population flowaway from richer areas in the Northeast and the California coast to the relatively low-wage economies of Texas, North Carolina, and Georgia. For many working- and middle-class Americans, the lower cost of living makes a decisive difference…

Incidentally, the widespread nature of the high coastal housing cost problem should give pause to the people who insist that it has nothing to do with zoning and is all about absentee foreign billionaires.

Most foreign buyers are Canadians looking for vacation homes someplace sunny. And while the Russian billionaire seeking a Manhattan pied-à-terre is a real phenomenon, it’s a stretch to imagine that foreign playboys are the ones bidding up the price of houses in Bergen County or Bethesda. The fact that overregulation of the land use sector is driving people out of blue states (and costing the national economy billions in the process) doesn’t mean that red states’ aversion to regulation is right across the board. But it is a real — and really big — failure of the political economy of American liberalism, and it’s something liberals ought to take more seriously.

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Entry filed under: Affordable Housing, Government Affairs, Housing Trends, North Carolina. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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